Youth Empowerment and Urban Studies

West Chester University

Youth Empowerment
and Urban Studies Program

543 Main Hall, West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383


The Youth Empowerment and Urban Studies minor offers you the opportunity to work hands-on with youth in urban settings making real change with and alongside them.

Faculty with cross-disciplinary expertise in strength-based approaches to the challenges faced by urban communities and youth choose to teach with us.

The YES minor is for students in any college or major; look at our program details to see how the minor fits your course of study.

Alumni Spotlight

  • image of Justin Jackson Justin Jackson, Class of 2014
    West Chester University
    More About Justin Jackson
    This is a minor that you will appreciate having on your transcript. It teaches you the struggles within education and the challenges urban communities experience. As you go through the required courses you will become an ally and an advocate for urban youth and education. You will gain skills such as leadership, patience, dedication, and reliability—all skills needed to create compelling actions in the life of urban youth. This minor establishes life learning lessons and opens your eyes to diversity. YES allows you to have hands- on experience with urban youth by doing community projects with other organizations as well as create youth-led media. Throughout the minor you gain a full understanding of ideas such as oppression, marginalization, and the various “-isms” that impact urban youth. YES is a minor of dedication—if you are fully dedicated, the reward is priceless.
  • image of Chelsea Brown Chelsea Brown, Class of 2013
    West Chester University
    More About Chelsea Brown
    When I added the YES 300 course in the Spring Semester of my 5th year, I did it on a whim and to fill a requirement. Thank God I did. I sat in on that first class listening to the course requirements and realized that this minor was exactly what I had been looking for- a passion and a purpose rolled into one. It went so perfectly with my Women’s and Gender Studies minor that I immediately enrolled in this minor as well, and completed the two other courses in the following two semesters. The YES minor is consistently hands-on, a characteristic I have craved in my educational career. Not only did I gain so much professionally from the courses including time management, grant proposal writing and countless other skills, but on a personal level, the impact was indescribable.
  • image of Cynthia Jones Cynthia Jones, Class of 2014
    West Chester University
    More About Cynthia Jones
    Next thing you know, I was doing hands-on work in Philadelphia, visibly bettering my community. I loved the experiences the YES minor provided me. Cut to present day: As a recent graduate of the program, I have already seen the benefits of this minor. Right after graduation, I landed a community partnerships coordinator position at a k-8 school in North Philadelphia.

For more information:

Dr. Hannah Ashley
YES Program Coordinator
543 Main Hall, West Chester University
West Chester PA 19383