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Healthy Lifestyles Information

HL 2.0 Program OverviewDownload

Road to Success Information


YESS Institute Financials

YESS-INSTITUTE-990-2017-2018Download 2016-2017-990-YESS-InstituteDownload



Healthy Lifestyles 2.0 is a marijuana early-prevention curriculum uniquely designed for youth in grades 6-8. The goal of this curriculum is to educate youth about the marijuana issues they are (or will be) confronting and equip them with tools to address these challenges. To reach this goal, YESS Institute partnered with the Denver Afterschool Alliance to align the curriculum to youth development best practices (PQA) and to National Health Education standards that value the role and importance of youth being in control of their decision-making. We also worked with Denver-based experts to get the most up-to-date information possible. Instructional best practices for positive youth development include student voice and choice, group discussion, and multiple leadership opportunities. Each lesson provides the same structure: opening/warm-up activity, youth-driven activity options, and a personal or group reflection opportunity. (We also have included ‘additional activities’ for programs to consider including.) The approach to Healthy Lifestyles 2.0 is inquiry-based and student-driven: lessons promote a trusting, safe environment that encourages discussion and discovery through fun, peer-led activities. Each lesson contains dialogue cues and facilitator prompts to provide structure and guidance, but advanced instructors will find that they can tailor the curriculum to
their own philosophy and instructional approach.

Lessons include:

101.1: Myths and Facts

101.2: Marijuana, Brain, and Body

101.3: Identity and Choice

101.4: Rights and Consequences

101.5: History, Trends, and Culture


To build a “correct working knowledge” of marijuana, Healthy Lifestyles 2.0 addresses common myths. Since legalization, various agencies have noted that both youth and adults operate with misinformation and may make decisions contrary to their values. Among youth across 19 different agencies who completed the Healthy Lifestyles 101 series:


Said it helped them think about who to trust when getting information about marijuana.


Said it helped them understand how marijuana impacts their brain functions.


Said it helped them think about how friends can influence each other’s decisions.


Said they better understand the history of marijuana and how it came to be legal.


Maxine Quintana, Director of Out-of-School Time Initiatives, Office of Children’s Affairs,
City and County of Denver

Students will learn how to:

develop healthy relationships with themselves and others

manage their time, evaluate their progress, and learn from their mistakes

advocate for themselves and their communities

set goals and design an action plan to accomplish them

write a resume, apply for a job, research post-secondary options

identify goals, wants, and needs

save and invest for the future

navigate situations that include marijuana use as well as other challenging behaviors



The YESS Institute’s programs have a strong focus on social emotional skills.  The Road to Success curriculum is a YESS Institute curriculum, which has been developed from years of experience working with youth. The curriculum addresses personal and social competencies that are essential to being successful in school and life; such competencies are self-confidence, respect and integrity; achievement; social justice; caring about others and leadership.

Our curriculum has been designed for our staff to coach our youth mentors so that they can teach social emotional skills to their peer mentees. The mentoring component of our program will utilize the YESS Road to Success curriculum, designed to enhance social/emotional intelligence.


Students are more than test scores: YESS institute promotes emotional intelligence and youth empowerment through supportive communities and peer leadership. The philosophy of the Road to Success curriculum is to provide students the tools to nurture healthy relationships with themselves and others, and to educate, inspire, and motivate others to stand up for a social justice issue they are most passionate about. As well, students will learn how to make healthy, informed choices when confronted with marijuana, unhealthy peer influences, and their finances.

Road to Success seamlessly integrates social-emotional learning (SEL) through the CASEL model with core academic skills and content. Lessons are aligned with Grade 10 Colorado academic standards in English/language arts, health, math, science, social studies, and visual arts. The curriculum can be customized to meet the needs of diverse students in grades 6-12+, including English language learners, struggling readers, and gifted and talented.



YESS Institute trainings are a great way to create cohesion and unity within your staff. YESS believes that any great agency or organization can only grow with developed leadership abilities, we can create personalized training to meet the needs of your staff.

Leadership Training Levels

  1. Peer Mentoring 101
  2. Emotional Intelligence and Relationship Building
  3. Creating Deep Impact

Emotional Intelligence Leadership Training

Topics include:

  • Burnout Prevention, The Love Cup
  • Boundaries, Agreements, and Confrontation
  • Self-Awareness and Emotional Management
  • Role Modeling is Key
  • Accountability, Ownership, and Cooperation

Contact us at to inquire about specific leadership training options.



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Below you’ll find what we would need in a school to fully incorporate the program.


Staff will work with school to identify these students the first year. Staff will recruit in subsequent years. These students should be currently performing well in school. They should demonstrate an above-average level of maturity. They can be either 7th or 8th graders; or 11th and 12th graders. They should have good grades and excellent attendance. They should be bought-in to the school climate and desire to be leaders in the school community.



These students are school-identified. The school should seek students who are currently in 6th grade for the first year, or 9th and 10th grades. In the spring, they will identify their incoming 6th graders as mentees. These students could have poor grades, poor behavior, poor attendance or some combination of these risk factors. These students should not be the toughest kids in school, behaviorally. These students should not have severe special needs. These students should be able to read, write, and speak English. ESL students are appropriate, if they have moved beyond intensive language supports. The ideal mentee is a student who needs some guidance, not the student who is routinely removed from the classroom environment for academic or behavioral intervention

Students for YESS

  • Even numbers of mentors and mentees – 50 of each (total)
  • The ideal YESS class has 11-12 mentees and 11-12 mentors in it
  • There should be 4-5 YESS classes offered each day
  • YESS staff ideally get 2 plan periods per day (in order to engage parents and facilitate student interventions)
  • YESS Staff can assist with duties, as needed, (Lunch Duty, Hall Duty, etc.)

Grading System

  • We follow whatever system the school uses
  • We assign grades for quality of student work/meeting standards set forth by CDE and district

Space requirements

  • A room that accommodates 30 students
  • Desks/chairs for up to 30 students

Personnel Supports

  • YESS Staff should be afforded opportunity to meet with all admins at least once
  • YESS Staff should be given a mentor teacher
  • YESS Staff will need to know the school/district discipline policy and who to contact for help when students act out
  • YESS Staff will need training in how to use copier, IC, online grading system, file sharing, etc
  • YESS staff ideally get 2 plan periods per day (in order to engage parents and facilitate student interventions)
  • YESS Staff can assist with duties, as needed, (Lunch Duty, Hall Duty, etc.)

Tech Requirements

  • Chromebooks – Class set, if available
  • Smart TV/cables, if available
  • Projector/cables that should be hooked up to computer
  • Desktop computer that should be hooked up to school network
  • Printing/copying access
  • Infinite Campus access
  • Online grading system access
  • Shared files on school network (such as bell schedules, logo images, master schedule, etc)

Program Timing

  • YESS classes begin on day 1 of the school year
  • The schedulers should place students when they’re scheduling the other teachers
  • No straggler add-ons or removals