Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: Youth Encouragement Services

For many low-income families in Nashville, after-school time and summer break present major challenges. Parents are often faced with choosing between going to work and being home for their children. That’s where organizations like the Youth Encouragement Services (YES) come in. For many inner-city children who would otherwise be home alone, YES offers a positive and safe alternative by providing experiences that encourage academic, physical, spiritual, and social development during out-of-school time.

Summer fun with the kids!

Since 1956, Youth Encouragement Services (YES) has been supporting at-risk children in Nashville, encouraging them to realize their full potential and advocating a better future for themselves and their families. “My children love YES so much that they beg me to take them early and let them stay late,” says Michael, a parent whose children attend YES.

YES has three centers open to children in grades K-12:

  • The St. Luke’s Center is located in West Nashville and services The Nations area;
  • The McIver Center is located in South Nashville and services the Woodbine Community; and
  • The Lindsley Avenue Center is located in Downtown Nashville and services the J.C. Napier/Tony Sudekum Public Housing community.

There are many opportunities for volunteers to help provide positive experiences for the children at all three YES centers. Currently, YES children are enjoying Summer Bible Camp, summer field trips, and outdoor activities. Ask any of the students about the camp zip line and you will see joy in their eyes! As sixth grader Antonio exclaims, “YES is a great place to hang out with friends!”

Mentoring is a great need for this community and a wonderful way you can make a difference in the life of a child.

Looking for volunteer opportunities after work? Lead a wide selection of activities such as chapel, computer classes, arts and crafts, or recreational games. Why not volunteer as a tutor, cook a meal, or provide homework support? Companies or other volunteer groups can also host service days at one of our centers. YES knows that volunteers are special people and that the success of the program depends on them. Interacting with a child, one-on-one, is important to successful development. Please consider what talents you have to share with a child. You CAN make a difference in a young life!

> Check out these volunteer opportunities with YES currently listed on Hands On Nashville’s website.

> For other opportunities and more information about volunteering at YES, please contact YES Operations Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, Samantha Johnson, at (615) 315-5333 or email

> Read more about YES.


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