Long Island Youth of Ethical Societies (YES) is a group of high school students determined to make the world a better place.
The YES Group meets on Sunday mornings during the school year to hold discussions and plan activities. Each year, the group focuses on one or two major issues based on the teens’ interests, such as global warming, war, or racism. YES gives teens a safe space to talk freely about serious issues in their lives, and to learn to be ethical people and embrace social action. The group is moderated by adult advisors but is truly run by the teens, giving each member the opportunity to take on leadership and social responsibility.
Every fall, members of the YES Group meet up with youth from other Ethical Societies around the U.S. for the annual YES Conference. The Conference rotates each year between New York, Washington D.C., and St. Louis, and the teens fundraise all year to cover travel expenses. The Conference is an incredible weekend of personal growth!
During Spring Break, the teens travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, where they meet up with friends from the Washington, DC Society and work with St. Bernard Project to help rebuild houses that were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. The teens love learning about local neighborhoods and how the storm impacted families.
Each year, the YES group creates a program based on that year’s topic to present to the entire Society during a Sunday Meeting. The presentation is always engaging and filled with multi-media effects. They also plan an annual Pasta Dinner for Society members and friends, filled with great food, lots of entertainment, and a guest speaker from a social action organization who receives a percentage of the night’s proceeds. Past speakers have included Amnesty International, Human Rights Campaign, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Food Not Bombs, LI Coalition for the Homeless, and many others.
Other activities include local disaster recovery, anti-war demonstrations, park clean-ups, voter registration drives, fun summer beach trips, and much more!
For more information about our YES group, contact YES Advisors Tara Klein or Derek Smith at YES@ehsli.org.