Youth Employment Services (YES)

Since 2011, Champaign’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) has provided Unit 4 students, ages 14-19, with hands-on work experience within our rich local business community for six weeks during the summer.  In January 2017, the program expanded its focus and officially launched its new identity as Youth Employment Services, or YES! While the main focus will still be around the summer employment initiative, the program will now be working with students all year long. They are also looking for connections to employer sites that are able to hire students directly during the school year.

THE YES VISION: Connect. Collaborate. Contribute. ​We connect with our students and work with them to ensure they develop the tools and strategies necessary to reach their ideal futures.
We connect with our employers to build strong relationships that respect their corporate and individual identities while equipping them to foster growth in our students. We connect with our community to increase the positive efforts of this program as we work to improve our shared future. ​We collaborate by pulling together the work of students, business leaders, community members, educators, parents and program staff as we work to find our best path to the future as a community. ​We require all those involved to recognize the importance of individual contribution to the program. We value contributions of time, energy, commitment, and services. We’re okay with the financial kind, too.

THE YES MISSION: We are building bridges to meaningful employment for Champaign’s youth. Our main goal will be to strengthen our student relationships, providing support throughout their high school careers and ensuring they are well-equipped to move on to college and/or the workforce.

GET INVOLVED: For more information, to apply for participation in the program or sponsor a youth, please contact Mindy Smith (Supervisor, Youth Employment Services, Champaign Unit 4 School District) at or 217-531-6857.  More information is also available on their website.