Youth Empowerment

Sarasota Police Department Announces the Youth Empowerment Services (Y.E.S.) Program

The Sarasota Police Department proudly announces the Youth Empowerment Services (Y.E.S.) program. This program is in partnership with Teen Court of Sarasota, Brotherhood of Men Mentor Group, Truly Valued, Inc., and the Sarasota Police Department. Y.E.S. is a diversion program that will provide mentorship and services to at-risk youth between the ages of 8 and 18 and their families.  The program supports the Sarasota Police Department’s crime prevention focus.  

“I hope this will be a very positive and impactful program for the youth in our community,” said Chief Rex Troche, Sarasota Police Department.  “We hope this program will decrease the number of youths from going down the wrong path and help divert them from jail,” said Chief Troche.

“The success of this program will be a game changer for our community and the youth in our city,” said Dominic Harris, Founder, and Director of Brotherhood of Men Mentor Group. “Numerous lives are going to be impacted for the greater good of our community thanks to the partnerships with other organizations making this program possible,” said Harris.

“This program is important as our youth and families need mentors that will make a life-changing impact on their lives and generations to come,” Shavonne Sams, C.E.O. and Founder, Truly Valued, Inc.

“Teen Court is so thankful to be included in this collaboration,” said Heather Todd, Executive Director of Teen Court of Sarasota. “The YES program designs a personalized success plan for each student with accountability mentorship and quality services. Prevention and the earliest intervention are key to the Y.E.S. participant’s success,” said Todd.

The Sarasota Police Department awarded $50,000 in Law Enforcement Trust Funds (LETF) to the Y.E.S. partners, which included the Brotherhood of Men Mentor Group, Teen Court of Sarasota, and Truly Valued, in November 2022.  A portion of these funds has been used to hire a coordinator to manage the engagement of youth who are first-time offenders or currently going through the Teen Court program. For additional information about the Y.E.S. Program, please contact Y.E.S. Coordinator Derick Payne at or 727-642-0960.

Photo from Sarasota Police Department

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