If you are having an emergency or crisis, please call 800-562-8909

Youth Empowerment Specialist (YES) is a position held in every Regional Prevention Center (RPC) throughout the state. Youth Empowerment is defined as the intentional capacity building of young people to be involved in the decision-making process, use their voice, understand and implement opinions and ideas, and work to make the community a better place to live and work.

In relation to our work at the RPC, it is empowering youth to become active participants in the planning and delivery of effective primary substance use prevention efforts in their community.

To ensure our communities are strengthened by youth voices, the YES identifies existing youth prevention coalitions in our ten-county region and provides technical assistance and training to enhance their efforts. The YES also works to identify potential adult advisors who are ready to support youth efforts and youth organizations that would like to add substance use prevention and behavioral health promotion to their scope of work. The YES can assist youth groups and their adult advisors through the prevention process – from needs assessment, capacity building, planning, implementation, and evaluation – and help them access funding. If you would like more information, you can contact Alex Holtzapfel, Pathways YES.


YES services are available to the following:

  • Middle and High School age youth
  • Established youth coalitions/groups/clubs
  • Those youth interested in starting a prevention coalition/group/club that can find an adult advisor (even if it is just a couple of youth)
  • School-based coalitions/groups/clubs
  • Faith-based coalitions/groups/clubs
  • Community-based coalitions/groups/clubs such as 4-H, Girl Scouts,
    Boy Scouts, etc.




Alex Holtzapfel



ext. 4354



Amy Jeffers

(606) 329-8588


ext. 4099