Youth Empowerment for Advancement Hangout (YEAH) is a Black-led, community-based nonprofit that works with teens in Philadelphia ages 13 to 19 who have witnessed or engaged in violence. With a special focus on those who have violent histories in West and Southwest neighborhoods, YEAH acknowledges teens as the experts of their own lives and prioritizes pushing back against oppressive systems and addressing structural barriers that often lead to violence.
Recognizing the increase of violence among youth and the absence of culturally relevant, teen focused organizations, YEAH was founded in 2018 by Kendra Van de Water and James Aye. Understanding the correlation between poverty, opportunity, and violence, YEAH provides services to address short and long term needs of teens in the evenings and weekends when violence is most prevalent.
YEAH works to create safe and authentic hangout spaces by providing culturally relevant engagement and implementing teen led interventions to address the root causes of violence. Utilizing teen action, YEAH works to interrupt the cycle of youth community violence in West and Southwest Philadelphia neighborhoods through peer led mediation and conflict resolution, community engagement, and economic opportunities.
YEAH envisions a Philadelphia where teens lead the way in successfully resolving violent conflicts with bold and culturally relevant practices.
YEAH focuses on elevating the experiences of Black teens in Philadelphia and reducing youth violence in Black communities.