Youth Unlimited Programs Inc, YUP, is a 501(c)(3) organization. The mission of this nonprofit is to encourage economic stability, social development in children and the well-being and health of North Carolina’s youth population. We strive to develop educational programs that will teach and encourage children to have positive character traits. Encouragement is given through educational achievement and goal making to promote a good appreciation of health. Our programs will focus particularly on those youth who are socially or economically disadvantaged.
The Summer Enrichment Academy offers a curriculum of engaging hands activities based on science, technology. engineering and math. The science and math portions of the curriculum introduce youth to the different aspects of the North Carolina ecosystems. Youth learn the basics of aquatic biology and how important it is to maintain the health of our watersheds. They gain experience in water quality sampling, microscopic use, scientific measurement, and recording data. They also learn how to use simple biostatistics to assess the health of aquatic communities.
The technology and engineering part of the curriculum involves having participants build simple machines to perform certain tasks. For example they could be asked to build a structure from a set of given materials. This structure will have to hold a certain amount of weight. These tasks will also include making simple vehicles that use sun and wind as a power source. All these activities will fall in line with our environmental theme. Students will collect data from their runs or flights in order to determine the best way to improve upon their performances.
Then they write-up their findings in a journal. Math, science, reading and writing are all stressed in this portion of the program. The simple machines portion of the program is used to increase problem solving ability, in that students are given a set of tasks to perform. They then have to write solutions in their journals as to how to best accomplish these tasks. All aspects of the curriculum are designed to enhance cognitive learning skills. Hands on projects also include natural soap making and other natural products in order to show students how life can be enhanced by using natural products. Our target goal is to serve up to 50 students during the summer.
The main goal of the Summer Enrichment Academy is to increase student interest in the sciences by giving them a basic working knowledge of how they are connected to their environment. This knowledge encourages students to be more aware of their surroundings and how they can contribute to the well being and quality of life in their communities. As a result of pursuing this goal, other goals like reducing low academic performance, reducing dropout rate, and seeking a college education become attainable. The overall purpose is to change the educational mindset in socially and economically disadvantaged youth by removing educational barriers.