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Independence Bound/Youth Engagement Services

The Independence Bound/Youth Engagement Services (YES) Program, formally known as the Career Exploration Internship Program has been in operation since 1993. This voluntary early education awareness program is an outgrowth of Erie Community College Independence Internship program. Independence Bound/YES provide services that support the vocational job readiness needs and social development of Erie County's foster care youth, in addition to offering assistance with college preparation to those who express a genuine interest in obtaining a post-secondary education. Independence Bound/YES works with up to 100 foster care youth ages 16-21 years with an alternative planned permanent living arrangement (Chafee Foster Care Independence Act of 1999).

Program Services

Job Readiness Training (JRT)

Eight day training that provides participants with insight on how to seek employment opportunities and successfully navigate the work environment once employed. Workshop topics include: Myers Briggs Personality Assessment (MBTI), FOCUS (Computerized Career Assessment Tool), Job Search 101, The Art of Interviewing, Work place Etiquette, Managing Time and Stress, Money Management and more. Participants who wish to participate in the Paid Internship Program are required to complete JRT.

Paid Internship Program

19 week work experience that allows participants to explore a field of interest to them, while developing invaluable and transferrable skills that will increase employment marketability. As with any job, interns are required to show up on time and to work the schedule agreed upon, completed the tasks assigned, and comply with the organization's established dress code. In exchange for their service, interns receive a bi-weekly stipend.

Leadership Development

Participants have the opportunity to take part in a comprehensive summer program that allows them to investigate and strengthen personal leadership styles. Trainings are hands-on and include a great deal of group work and discussion. Topics focus primarily on improving self-confidence and self-esteem, decision-making, conflict management and relationship/team-building.

Computer Camp

10 hours of training in basic Microsoft Windows 2010 operations and basic Microsoft Word Applications provided by ECC's Workforce Development Department. There is an application process to be completed in order to attend this training. All participants receive a free laptop.

Soft Skill Development

A series of hands-on trainings and activities are scheduled throughout the year to help participants develop and strengthen their interpersonal and employer relation skills.

Contact Information

Terry Kirby
Project Director
Location: City Campus, Room 275
(716) 851-1030


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