Activating Activism Since 1968: HSU’s YES Turns 50


Eureka, Ca., (KIEM)- It’s easy to think of the campus community at Humboldt State University, and the community at large on the north coast as very separate things. There are the students, and there are the locals. There isn’t much in between. At least, that’s the perception. One organization has been quietly bridging the gap for 50 years.

YES stands for Youth Education Services. It’s gives HSU students a springboard into the world of activism. They collaborate with community organizations to serve children (and seniors) in the area, becoming connected with the area on a deeper level.

“We have been on the campus and part of the community for a very long time,” Dean Shearer says. He’s just graduated from HSU and spent the last semester as Lead Program Consultant for YES.

It’s not just the element of community service that matters. “YES is incredibly important because: one, it builds these amazing leadership skills, and communication skills, and teamwork skills in our students. It gives our students this experience that they never would have gotten just going to classes.” Shearer says.

He goes on to explain,”We also get to work with the local community and I feel like we definitely have a net benefit impact on the local community.”

YES acts as a sort of liason between students and service sub-organizations, getting everyone placed and making a difference. Some YES programs include: A.R.T. (Art, Recreation, and Theater connecting college students with children interested in those activities), Environmental Education (cultivating an appreciation of the outdoors with local kids), Golden Years (Helping seniors with independent living), Homelessness Network (addressing childhood homelessness), Queer Mentoring and Advocacy Program (QMAP empowers and supports peer youth through mentoring).

That list just scratches the surface. YES volunteers have racked up more than 14,000 hours of community service. They’ve worked in eight local schools and 18 community sites. 235 volunteers belong to the non-profit, which is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary.

For a complete list of YES volunteer opportunities:

Learn more here.