San Pasqual Academy
YES Program


San Pasqual Academy’s (SPA) Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Program is a work readiness and self-sufficiency program that has been providing services to students since the school opened in 2001. YES is funded by the San Diego Workforce Partnerships Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding.  YES is a comprehensive program that includes work readiness training; financial literacy and leadership development; internships; job shadow; job placement and career exploration.  


The paid internship component improves the outcomes for students as they transition off campus and into self-sufficiency.  We have found a strong correlation between students that have had a internship opportunity prior to leaving SPA and their ability to maintain employment and become more self-sufficient once they leave.  Over 150 employers have participated in over 500 paid internship opportunities that include culinary arts, retail, healthcare, agriculture, auto mechanics, animal care, hospitality and tourism.    

The Qualcomm Technology and Career Information Center, a state-of-the-art technology center on campus, is the hub of activity for the YES Program.  The Tech Center is a 15,000 square foot multi-use facility that includes a tech lab, a Career Center, Video Production and Multimedia classrooms, Financial Literacy center, Entrepreneurship incubator space, and Career Counseling offices.  

On-campus YES Program services include: 

  • Work readiness skill training includes:  resume writing, interviewing skills, work ethics, and job application requirements.

  • Offer elective CTE courses in multimedia and computer technology.

  •  Facilitates a financial literacy program to enhance independent living skills and become self sufficient upon graduation. 

  • Every student (ages 14 and older) has the opportunity to receive up to 120 hours of an internship each program year. 

  • Middle School students (ages 12-14) participate in Pre-Employment Traineeship (PET) work experience stipend program on campus; teaching the basic work skills that include: being on time, having a good attitude, dressing appropriately, being productive, and being honest.  This will serve as an introduction into the world of work.

  • Work experiences are developed to enhance the student’s current and future employment success.

  • Provide the students an opportunity to practice basic employment skills under the supervision of the YES Program. 

  • Leadership skills are taught and practiced through participation in Key Club, facilitated by YES staff every Friday in the Career Center.

  • Entrepreneurship skills are taught hands-on in the student run coffee and juice bar, The Dragons Lounge.

  • Follow up services for a minimum of one year after graduation to provide support and resources as students transition into adulthood.