How YES! Network Started

In the late 1990’s community leaders had a passion to impact the “neglected 60%” of students—average teenagers with untapped potential who would one day make up the bulk of the community.  

The five founders (Madonna French, John Lightle, Tim Harris, Mike McMillan, and Chuck Roome) wanted to reach students at a critical age as they begin making important life and character decisions. In partnership with Dr. Jim Laub, a curriculum was developed emphasizing servant leadership and conveying that students really could achieve.    

This curriculum is now being packaged so that it can be made available to help other communities.

Our Story

“Empowering young people to reach their full potential as caring, contributing, and responsible leaders.”

YOUTH EMPOWERED to SERVE was created for Grant County 8-10th grade students with untapped potential. Students must be nominated and commit to complete this special three year program. 

The classes meet twice monthly for leadership lessons, projects and community outings. Students who complete the program receive a special stipend or scholarship upon graduation.

8th Grade: Students begin by learning about Personal Leadership – principles such as “you have value” and “decisions that you make today impact your future, either positively or negatively and you control which”.

9th Grade: The second year focuses on Team Leadership – how to work together, understand people and team dynamics, and achieve group goals.

10th Grade: The final year culminates with Community Leadership - students put together what they’ve learned to complete a community project of their choosing. Recent projects include building a Chaplain’s office for the Rescue Mission, rehabbing and beautifying the band shell at Matter Park, helping the Boys & Girls Club, and providing handicap accessibility at the Genesis House, a home for Vietnam veterans.