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YES Los Angeles

Program Description

YES is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with over two decades of educational development work in underserved communities. Dedicated to promoting America's promise of equal opportunity for equal talent, YES identifies high-performing students from low-income communities in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and rural Appalachia. Currently serving over 600 students, YES aims to provide long-term holistic support services that meet students' academic and socioemotional needs at every milestone along their journey, beginning as early as elementary school and continuing through career placement.

YES selects high achieving, low-income students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Students are selected in the 6th grade based on academic performance, teacher recommendations, and an interview process. A majority of our students come from homogenous low-income neighborhoods, and have not been exposed to many opportunities outside of their homes and schools. We seek students who are not only academically bright, but who can persevere, adapt, and thrive in new environments. YES selects 15-30 students per year per region.

YES students attend 75 different high schools across the country. Nationally, 15% of students attend boarding school, 45% of students attend independent schools, and 40% attend public schools.

  • YES Appalachia selects students from 7 schools in Ashe and Watauga counties in Western North Carolina.
  • YES Chicago selects students from 6 public and charter schools across the Chicagoland area.
  • YES Los Angeles selects students from 10 Title-1 public and charter middle schools in the Los Angeles and Lennox School Districts.
  • YES New York selects from 6 public schools in District 5 serving Central and West Harlem.

Success Stories

A note from YES student Alberto upon his full-ride acceptance to Tufts University:

"This is something we have worked towards for a very long time! I say we because you were one of my coaches! I cannot stress enough how big of a role you played in my life's work and future! To thank you I want to explain something. I know you realize that we do not reply to many of your emails often. However, I'm glad that despite our lacking efforts, you continuously and constantly sent us informative emails. It was on one of these emails [from College Greenlight] where I found information that made me apply to the only college overnight program I ever attended. It was to Tufts! I just want to thank you for everything you have done for us and I hope you continue to do so for the many kids relying on YES"

Thank you College Greenlight for helping my students learn about opportunities that led them to college!

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation


Race & Ethnicity

  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 85%
  • Other: 8%
  • African American: 6%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 200
  • Middle School: 60
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 100
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students
  • Undocumented Students (20)


  • More than 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Amherst College
  • Bard College
  • California State University-Fullerton
  • California State University-Long Beach
  • California State University-Northridge
  • Chapman University
  • Colorado College
  • Columbia University in the City of New York
  • Connecticut College
  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Georgetown University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kent State University at Kent
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Middlebury College
  • Mount St. Mary's University
  • North Carolina A & T State University
  • Occidental College
  • Pitzer College
  • Rhodes College
  • Santa Monica College
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • University of California-Santa Cruz
  • University of Redlands
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Southern California
  • Yale University

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 100%
  • 4-yr College Graduation: 93%