Youth Enrichment Services, Inc. (YES)

Experience. Confidence. Leadership

Boston, MA   |


The mission of Youth Enrichment Services (YES) is to inspire and challenge Boston youth with physical and mental activities that foster life-long respect for self, others, and the environment.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Bryan Van Dorpe

Main address

412 Massachusetts Avenue

Boston, MA 02118 USA

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NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Youth Community Service Clubs (O51)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

a. Tier 1 / Introductory Experiences & Activities

Tier 1 / Introductory Experiences & Activities - Goal is to introduce youth to and get them involved in outdoor activities (skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking and more)  that they otherwise would not have an opportunity to experience. Includes Operation SnowSports and Outdoor Adventure programs.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Tier 2 / Intermediate Repeat Engagement Experiences – Goal is to give youth opportunities to build
confidence, develop character, and increase their skills through in-depth, repeat engagement experiences and activities within the organization’s Operation SnowSports and Outdoor Adventure programs. Includes
Operation SnowSports’ YETTI (Youth Excel Through Tailored Instruction), Cross Country Skiing, and Outdoor Adventure’s Week-Long Intensive and year-round Track & Field programs.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Tier 3 / High Impact Leadership Programs – Goal is to create pathways to leadership for teens. Activities take place on-site at YES, in the outdoors, and in the community. These are high interaction programs requiring a year-long or seasonal commitment from youth. The following programs encompass the Tier 3 / High Impact YES Academy: College Preparation, and the Leadership Corps.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work


Host Site of the Year 2021

Massachusetts Promise Fellowship

Affiliations & memberships

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2002

USA Track and Field 2008

American Camp Association - Member 2018

Associated Grant Makers 2018

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

YES’s ultimate goal is to provide transformative opportunities for Boston youth, ages 7 to 18, through challenging, active outdoor experiences embedded with leadership development programming. YES’s intended outcomes are that youth develop the experience, confidence and leadership skills needed to achieve, lead and excel in college, career, and life. YES facilitates social change by giving youth the tools and encouragement needed to change how they see themselves and others; to make value-driven decisions; and to interact positively with the world and all those they encounter.
YES’s strategic goals for the next five years (2016 – 2020) reinforce YES’s historical and current efforts to make lasting, meaningful change for underserved Boston youth. In particular, YES will be focusing on deepening the organization’s long term influence on youth by strengthening its high impact YES Academy programs; increasing emphasis on in-depth, repeat engagement with YES; and expanding its already robust efforts to secure the resources necessary to do so.
1,600 inner-city Boston youth come through YES's doors each year, curious and willing to take a risk: trying a new sport, like skiing or rock climbing; interacting with unfamiliar peers and adults from different backgrounds; or getting outside the city to the Berkshires or New Hampshire for the first time. Today, YES can proudly say that YES youth graduate high school, attend college, give back to their communities, and are ready to have successful careers and lives. Tomorrow, YES will point to community leaders, athletes and community role models and say, “They are a YES alum!"

YES utilizes multiple broad complementary strategies.

Promote regular outdoor physical activity: YES inspires youth to get outside and get moving all year-round, through downhill and cross country skiing, snowboarding, track & field, rock climbing, kayaking, and biking. The Centers for Disease Control clearly outlines the benefits of being active, which include reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes, for which the YES target population is at risk (Health of Boston Report, 2013).

Foster meaningful relationships: Because of the high numbers of adult staff and volunteers, YES is able to foster the development of relationships between youth and supportive adult staff and volunteers. Relationships with caring adults are widely recognized as being essential for youth to achieve their full potential. YES youth say that they feel supported by their coaches and have positive interactions with adult staff and volunteers.

Model positive social values: The YES culture reinforces positive social norms and builds improved social skills by recognizing good sportsmanship and rewarding resiliency; by setting the example that everyone in the group is valued and their participation matters; and by practicing accountability in terms of rules of behavior towards each other, their coaches and others they encounter while on the trails, mountain, water and in the community. Promotion of pro-social norms is considered to by the Institute of Medicine to be an essential feature of effective youth development programs.

Opportunities for skills building: In addition to teaching sport-specific skills, YES helps youth build the personal skills of goal setting and problem-solving. YES provides youth the chance to set and pursue their own goals, build on their existing strengths, and take the lead on working through challenges individually and as a group. Research indicates that such skills are essential for positive youth development. YES youth consistently increase their problem-solving and goal setting skills. YES also teaches leadership, college-and-workforce readiness skills. Youth gain the tools and experiences needed to succeed in school, work and life through workshops, job shadowing, college tours, and one-on-one assistance. For the past seven years, 100% of the youth in the YES Academy have graduated high school on time and enrolled in college.

Facilitate Access & Inclusion: Low-income youth and youth of color are faced with inadequate access to quality educational and workforce development opportunities and limited meaningful out-of-school programs, with less than half having access to such programs (Boston Indicators Report, 2012). By keeping programs low-to-no cost, YES offers youth opportunities that most would not otherwise have. 

Provide physical and psychological safety: Many YES youth live in high crime areas, so it is essential that they feel safe when they are with YES. Practices and activities are held at high quality and well managed facilities, using quality equipment and developmentally appropriate training from certified coaches. Emotional safety is promoted by focusing on the overall well-being of the child and from utilizing a positive risk taking approach: encouraging youth to try something new that they might not be initially good at, and supporting them to keep trying.

YES has the necessary experienced staff, robust development efforts, strong community partnerships and well-developed volunteer infrastructure. Senior Leadership: Bryan Van Dorpe, Executive Director, joined YES in 2008. Prior to joining YES, he worked at South Boston Neighborhood House for 24 years. As Executive Director there, he oversaw a decade of substantial growth including a budget that nearly doubled, a capital campaign and additional facilities, new programming initiatives and expanded collaborations. Jamie Burch, Director of Development, has been with YES since 2011. She is a results-driven fundraising professional with 15 years of experience and is skilled at building development programs from the ground up and growing fundraising revenue. Jamie has expertise in development planning, donor cultivation and stewardship and in small development shops. Shiona DeCarvalho, Director of Impact and YES Academy, joined YES in 2013 with experience working with youth in Mexico and Boston. She has spent several years educating young people about India, taking students abroad and received the Boston Celtic’s A Hero Among Us Award for her efforts. Prior to joining YES Shiona was the teen director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. With a background in program development and measurements, Shiona expanded YES's efforts in measuring outcomes for all of its programs. Laura Neubauer, Director of Programs & Operations, joined YES in 2010 and has over 8 years of progressively increasing responsibility in youth development, teaching, and leadership development. Before working at YES, Laura was an Adjunct Instructor for the Theatre Department at Northeastern University, Bridgewater State University, and College of Southern Nevada. Laura holds a Master's degree in Playwriting from the University of Nevada - Las Vegas and a BFA from the University of Utah. Hema Kailasam, Finance Manager, joined YES in 2018. Hema began her career as an Investment Banker in New York City. Since returning to Boston, she has been working with small businesses to support their financial and administrative needs. Hema holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College and Masters of Science in Finance from Boston College. Development Capacity: YES is prioritizing donor relationships and the establishment of a major gifts program. The Black Diamond Council, which is made up of 15 influential leaders in the YES community, leveraged their personal networks and helped to raise over $625,000 through YES's 8th Annual Black Diamond Gala. The YES 2018 Black Diamond Gala brought in more than $625,000 - nearly double what it raised in 2014. The YES Young Professionals Committee, which plans quarterly after-work social networking events to engage millennials in philanthropy, is continuing to grow in effectiveness, as does YES's Alumni Circle which is chaired by YES Trustee, Mark Williams - the son of YES's founder. Community Partnerships: The ability to successfully collaborate is one of YES’s greatest strengths. YES partners with more than 150 organizations. For the Operation SnowSports, YES partners with many mountains, including Blue Hills Ski Area, Ski Butternut, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Jiminy Peak, Killington Mountain, Loon Mountain, Nashoba Mountain, Pat's Peak, Pico Mountain, Sugarbush Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, Wachusett Mountain, and Waterville Valley Ski Resort. For the Outdoor Adventure Programs, YES partners widely with Massachusetts Department of Parks and Recreation to access the harbor islands in Boston as well as to access outdoors activities in the Berkshires. YES partners with SONAS Stand-up Paddle Boarding, Carson Beach, Quincy Quarries Rock Climbing, Charles River Canoe & Kayak, USA Track & Field, Boston Parks Department, AMC Beartown Forest, Greater Boston Trout Unlimited, Womputuck State Park, and many others. The four-season Track & Field program at YES partners with Boston English High School, the Boston Parks Department, the Boston Athletic Association, USA Track & Field-New England, the Massachusetts Track and Field Officials Association, and Blackstone Community Center. Job shadowing takes place at partners including Cantina, Citi, and Putnam Investments. YES works with a large variety of organizations to connect with youth, including the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Boston Public Housing. Volunteers: The 200+ adult volunteers are essential to YES’s ability to fulfill its mission.Volunteers are instructors and coaches; provide mentorship, job shadowing, speak at panels, and lead workshops. Volunteering is a major part of the YES culture: they increase capacity and model this value for YES youth.

Over the past two years, YES has been focused on achieving its strategic goals as outlined in the 2016 - 2020 Strategic Plan. By 2020, YES aims to: integrate college, career, and life readiness elements in all outdoor programming; double the number of youth served in Tiers 2 and 3; and undertake a capital campaign to secure a new facility. To that end, YES adapted its Leadership Curriculum in 2018 by merging its former stand-alone Tier 3 Career Exploration and College Prep programs into the existing Tier 3 Leadership Corps. YES will offer three Leadership Corps concentrations: leadership development, college preparation, and career readiness. Teens ages 13-18 can enroll in all three. Tier 3 classes will no longer be offered off-site as less than 5% of youth served off-site further engaged with YES. The goals for all three concentrations are that teens will develop transferable career/college/leadership skills. The revised Leadership Corps model will result in an increase in the number of youth engaged with YES over time. In 2018, YES engaged over 1,000 youth in Tiers 2 and 3 (an estimated 800 youth in Tier 2 and an estimated 200 teens in Tier 3). Due to space constraints, growth of these numbers are limited. YES aspires to continue growing this number in future years Ultimately, YES’s development and capacity-building strategies, combined with a new facility, will enable YES to serve more youth at its headquarters and spur even more growth.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Youth Enrichment Services, Inc. (YES)

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Youth Enrichment Services, Inc. (YES)

Board of directors
as of 02/05/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Geoffrey Soper

Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch

Term: 2023 - 2025

Geoffrey Soper

Merrill Lynch

Phill Gross

Adage Capital Management

Arnesse Brown

Tenants Development Corporation

Candace Burns

Dana Farber Cancer Institute

David Fitzgerald


Derek Fowler

Boston Fire Dept

Mark McKenna

Wendi McKenna

Christopher Peabody

Peabody Office

Biria St. John


Ian Sanderson

Nimbus Therapeutics

Rashaun Martin

Boston Public Schools

Jess Williams

Morgan Stanley

Marie Daniel

Boston University

Payson Swaffield

Kalli Catcott

Mersana Therapeutics

Deniz Ferendeci

Boston Urban

Chris Harris

Enanta Pharmaceuticals

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/5/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/04/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.