The Young Women's Project
The Young Women's Project builds the leadership and power of young people so that they can transform DC institutions to expand rights and opportunities for DC youth. YWP programs guide youth through a process of personal transformation so they can become leaders in their peer groups, schools, families, and communities who are able to analyze problems, identify solutions, and advocate for change.
Based in Washington, DC, YWP programs engage under-resourced youth of color, ages 14-22, with a focus on teen women and youth in the foster care system. Youth staff and members are organized into two issue campaigns, driven by long-term-system-change-focused goals and chose by youth. The Foster Care Campaign (FCC) builds the leadership and power of foster youth so that they can transform their own lives and improve the child welfare system. The Peer Health and Sexuality Education Project (PHASE) is a teen-adult partnership that works to improve DC teens’ reproductive health by expanding comprehensive sexuality education, ensuring access to community and school based reproductive health care, and engaging teen women and men as peer educators and decision makers on reproductive health issues.
Since 1994, YWP has developed thousands of youth leaders and has worked in partnership with a number of DC agencies to develop policy and implement programs in sexual health education and services, foster care rights and opportunities, youth employment, and other issues. Founded by and for young women in 1992, and operating as a volunteer collective during its first 2 years, YWP has grown to a full time adult staff of six, 200 youth staff, and a budget of $650,000.
YWP is a nationally recognized leader in youth development and civic engagement with a 21-year track record of rigorous, successful, outcomes-based programming and training, youth leadership development, policy development, and institutional change successes. YWP has trained more than 750 youth as staff members, 1,500 youth as peer educators and leaders in DC Public Schools, and more than 300 foster care youth leaders.