Focus Area: Risks to Adolescent Health
Youth Empowered Society (YES) Drop-In Center
Maia began serving at YES as an AmeriCorps VISTA in July of 2014. In this role Maia worked to expand the capacity of the organization’s Workforce Development programming and services. Maia currently serves as the Workforce Development and Education Coordinator for YES, she created and tracked metrics to assess the program’s effectiveness while also supervising the new VISTA member and a team of interns. In addition to programming and working directly with clients, Maia has made advocacy a key component of her role. She served on a citywide taskforce for youth employment opportunities and was part of a team that designed a trauma-informed jobs assessment that was eventually adopted by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.
Founded and run by formerly homeless youth and their allies, the YES Drop-In Center provides a safe drop-in space for youth ages 14-25 who are experiencing homelessness. YES’s mission is to prevent and eliminate youth homelessness through the synergy of youth and ally partnerships. YES grew out of the work of the Baltimore Homeless Youth Initiative (BHYI) Youth Leaders, a group of youth with personal experiences of homelessness that formed as an arm of the BHYI Coalition to help set its direction during 2009-10. Among other priorities, they identified the need for and worked to create a comprehensive, one-stop-shop drop-in center for youth, located in a central location, and staffed by formerly homeless young adults with whom the youth could relate.