We wanted to translate the concepts in empowerment theory into every day language in order to communicate clearly with people who are carrying out the YES curriculum.
The theory has three primary components: intrapersonal empowerment, interpersonal empowerment, and behavioral empowerment. We express these as: “feeling”, “connecting” and “doing”. Feeling refers to the beliefs and perceptions that you have about yourself. Connecting refers to your relationships with others and with the surrounding environment. Doing refers to the actions that you take that affect your surroundings and yourself.
Each of these aspects of empowerment can be measured by several psychological constructs. These are reflected in our model by simple statements, such as “I am good at leading groups” (leadership efficacy), “I know adults who can help me solve problems” (adult resources), and “I participate in neighborhood activities” (community engagement).
When YES group leaders connect the curriculum with its underlying concepts they can do a better job of communicating the intent of each activity to participating youth.