Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES!) has its roots in a student club that began at Horlick High School in Racine in 2004, an extension of the Latino American history class that some student leaders were taking.
Voces youth membership grew significantly from 2007 with the appointment of a full-time organizer. Campaign efforts were especially focused the education rights of undocumented students, both in terms of pressing for in-state tuition rates for students within Wisconsin and pushing for a similar change nationally through the DREAM Act and
In 2008, 100 youth members led off Voces de la Frontera’s May 1st march – the largest in the nation – calling for for immigration reform in the First 100 Days of the new presidency.
The prominence of youth on the march reflected the way that student leaders have been central to all of Voces campaigns.
In June 2009, Voces youth achieved a major victory with passage of an in-state tuition bill in the Wisconsin legislature. Efforts continued to secure a similar victory at national level through the DREAM Act.
February 2010 saw the launch of Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES!) to replace both of the preceding student groups, Students United for Immigrant Rights (SUFRIR) and Students United in the Struggle (SUITS).
YES! is now pushing forward strongly into the new decade.
This post is also available in: Spanish