YESS Academy Classroom

Our unique Classroom Model program blends social-emotional learning curricula and peer leadership to support positive youth development in middle and high school students - a combination you won't find often.

Students served

Page curriculum

Hours of content
Write your awesome label here.

Welcome to the YESS Classroom

Since 2001, YESS Institute has been perfecting our Classroom Model to effectively build social emotional learning skills and to prepare middle and high school students for post-secondary success. Our courses are designed by experts all informed by the youth, families, and communities we serve.

Watch our Welcome Video to see how it works!
What we offer

Our SEL specialties

The YESS Academy Classroom cultivates an inclusive learning environment where students are encouraged and prepared to reconnect to a positive school culture.

Student mentees are matched with peer mentors and work one-on-one for an entire academic year developing SEL skills, academic supports, and leadership skills through the "Road to Success" curriculum.
  • Self-Awareness
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Self-Management
  • Decision-Making
  • Social-Awareness
  • Brain Development
  • Peer Pressure
  • Belonging/Identity

What community leaders are saying

Students experience material that is not taught in the traditional curriculum but is critically important for achieving one's full potential as a human being.
-Susan Cardasis
The participants in YESS thrive. They choose to become responsible community members, to give back, and to model this behavior for younger students.
-Terri Slivka
Through the design of curriculum, the development of resource materials, and the curation of programming practices YESS Institute has become a local and national leader in the field.
-Brad Strong

Check out our impact on students:

of YESS students demonstrate positive changes in social-emotional learning 

of YESS students see an increase in earned school credits

of YESS seniors achieve post-secondary acceptance

of YESS students are on track to graduate.


Some feedback from our students and instructors

“Learned so much from YESS ”

“I’ve learned a lot from being a part of the YESS classroom. Leadership skills. Being able to pass my classes. Staying on track to graduate. It has helped me so much more than I ever expected.”  

YESS Student Mentee at North High School

“One of the best things that happened to the school”

“The program being here at West Leadership Academy is one of the best things that has happened to the school. The curriculum itself provides SEL skills and a classroom where we can have discussions on race, drugs, alcohol, abuse – all relevant issues that we still face today in any classroom.” 

Carlos Villagrana-Juarez; YESS Program Manager & former YESS Student

“Lead by example ”

“One thing I’m learning as a leader in the YESS classroom is that you have to lead by example. Because if you’re doing well, your mentee will do well.” 

Devin, YESS Student Mentor Lead at North High School  

Road to Success Curriculum

Road to Success contains six interdisciplinary units and over 250 hours of educational instruction based on leading research in fields of adolescent brain development, trauma-informed care, and mental health support and is aligned with best practices in positive youth development and cross-age peer leadership.

Peer Leadership Development

By working one-on-one and in small peer groups, students cultivate a more equitable learning community that lends confidence and comfort to learning, connecting, and coping.

Leading research evidences that adolescents are the primary influence on other adolescents; youth behavior complies to the norms of the cohort to which they do, or want to, belong to. 

Course contents

Unlocking student potential

The Road to Success curriculum is an expertly designed social-emotional learning curriculum, informed by the five core competencies of Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and aligned with Colorado Department Education academic standards.

Each lesson is intentionally constructed to provide every student with essential social-emotional tools for lifelong success in school, relationships, and life. Unit content includes building community; developing personal identity; drug and substance use prevention; financial literacy; practicing accountability; and pursuing social justice.

YESS Institute contributed to and is featured in MENTOR’s Peer Mentoring Supplement: Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. 

What's included?

We bring our expert knowledge on best practices in positive youth development and mentoring – all to the highest CASEL standards– to your school. 

880+ Page SEL Curriculum

Six engaging interdisciplinary units and over 250 hours of SEL educational instruction.

Unique Learning Paths

Our middle and high school curricula are crafted to meet the separate, age-appropriate needs of your learners.

Peer Leadership Model

Map to helping students work one-on-one and in small peer groups to build an equitable learning community.

Facilitation Options

YESS can provide a trained instructor or we can train a member of your team - a teaching license is not required. 

Customizable Lessons

We provide full lesson plans, but they can be followed in any order and can fit in class periods of any duration.

Meets National Standards

  • Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning
  • Colorado Department Education Academic Standards

Peer Leadership is a Best Practice

Peer mentoring is an effective, culturally reflective way to connect students to positive and prosocial peer cohorts.
Write your awesome label here.
Listen for free

9 Key Components of Peer Leadership

Our e-book and audio course provides a practical, hands-on approach to set up, improve, and enhance your peer mentoring model rooted in the Five R’s: Peer Role models who act Responsibly and who Relate to their mentees with whom they build strong Relationships with the support of a Relevant curriculum

Want more information?

Book a free consultation call and learn what impact the YESS Classroom program can have in your school.

Get a daily dose of motivation, straight to your email.

Thank you!