Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. has launched, But I’m Not, a compelling public service ad (PSA) campaign highlighting how the national nonprofit works to transform youth justice, child welfare, behavioral health, intellectual disabilities and other systems.
YAP is in 32 states and the District of Columbia and in its 47th year of partnering with systems to provide community-based alternatives to youth incarceration, congregate placements and neighborhood violence. But I’m Not highlights current and former program participants and YAP staff who empowered them to see their strengths while connecting them with tools to achieve positive goals. Developed in partnership with The CauseWay Agency and Picture Perfect Production (PPP&E), the campaign includes TV, radio and print ads that will rely on donated time and space.
“I may have committed some crimes, even got shot, but I’m not a criminal.” --Tumani, age 22, Former YAP Youth Justice Program Participant/Newly Hired YAP Advocate
“I experienced some trauma and made some mistakes, but I’m not a mistake.” --Jaylyn, age 16, Former YAP Child Welfare Program Participant
“All my life, I’ve been told what’s impossible for people like me, but I’m not hopeless.” --Gavin, age 22, Former YAP Behavioral Health Program Participant/Current YAP Intellectual Disabilities Program Participant
Guided by its “no reject, no eject” policy, YAP’s decades of service include working with many young people whose histories include serious offenses, multiple arrests, and lengthy out-of-home placements. John Jay College of Criminal Justice research found 86% of YAP’s youth justice participants remain arrest free, and six – 12 months after completing the program, nearly 90 percent of the youth still lived in their communities with less than five percent of participants in secure placement. Learn more about YAP at yapinc.org.