Three Yes Academy Students on a Ferry with their White Canes, looking at the camera and smiling.
Yes Summer Academy students on Ferry.

Youth Employment Services (YES) Summer Academy

June 27 (Sunday 3:00 PM)- July 25 (Sunday 11:00 AM), 2021

The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Youth Employment Services (YES) is excited to offer a redesigned 2021 Summer Academy for transition-age blind and low vision youth! Transition-age is between the ages of 16 and 24.

This year, the YES Academy will be hosted at Enchanted Hills Camp (EHC) where youth will learn while surrounded by nature; Hosting the YES Summer Academy at EHC will allow for outdoor instruction and spatial distancing in order to maximize safety procedures as a result of COVID-19. Youth will continue to have the opportunity to fill their summer with engaging and valuable learning experiences as they participate in independent living training, employment readiness seminars, work-based experiences, mentoring conversations, and memorable social activities all while connecting with life-long friends and mentors as well as supportive LightHouse staff. Prepare to participate in an innovative and comprehensive pre-employment and independence skills filled summer connected to an empowering and supportive community!

The YES Summer Academy is a 4-week long immersive experience for youth to gain first-hand knowledge with building confidence and positive identity, to learn collaboration and how to be a “team player,” to identify strengths and interests, as well as to gain a sense of direction through interactive work-based learning experiences. The three core components are:

Week 1 – Your Skills, Your Goals Bootcamp

Week 2 – Expanding Your Employment Knowledge, Networking in the Community

Weeks 3 and 4 – Growing Your Resume, and Work Experience Practicum

The YES Summer Academy will culminate with youth expanding their web of support and exploring their career interests.  They will also come away equipped with tools such as a working resume, interview strategies and strengths profile.  

Learning outcomes based on the nationally recognized Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (pre-employment transition skills) include:

  1. Conduct research and informational interviews with professionals resulting in relevant job exploration, counseling, and labor market information.
  2. Take part in a variety of work-based learning experiences through paid work-based opportunities where they will gain an increased understanding of important topics related to the world of work including:

Professional presentation and first impressions

Understanding employer expectations

Orientation and mobility skills needed for community inclusion

Self-advocacy and negotiating disability accommodations, and assistive technologies for the workplace.

  1. Hone their workplace readiness soft skills such as practicing effective collaboration, drafting, and delivering presentations, and engaging in independent living as they work as a team to support one another as the summer work-based experiences progress.
  2. Increase their understanding of resources, services, and knowledge in the areas of self-advocacy, requesting accommodations, college education necessary for certain career paths, financial literacy including benefits planning, as well as legal rights and responsibilities of blind and low vision individuals.
  3. Elevate their attitude and confidence through meeting with successful blind and low vision peer mentors and professionals pursuing various careers as well as cultivate community with peers who have similar interests or transition aspirations.
  4. Practice setting, progressing and achieving professional and personal goals. They will learn the importance of informed decision making to solidify and achieve their individualized projected post-school employment outcomes.

If you are ready to attend or have any questions, please contact Ann Wai-Yee Kwong, Transition Program Manager, at or call 415-484-8377.

To join the YES Summer Academy as a participant, follow the steps below:

  1. Complete the LightHouse Student Intake Form and select “YES Summer Academy” under the Program Interest section. If you have participated in LightHouse Youth programs within the last year, please skip this step and go directly to Step 2.
  2. Complete the YES Summer Academy Participation Application and Short Responses. Please send your responses to by April 23, 2021.


Due to the popular nature of the YES Summer Academy coupled with physical distancing safety measures, be sure to complete all application and health/safety materials prior to the deadline to be considered. Applicants for the YES Summer Academy must have an open case with the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) or other entity for funding to cover associated costs. Please note the fee is $7,000 for the entire 4-week program.

Commitment to Health and Safety

The YES Summer Academy is, and will continue to be, in strict accordance with local, state and Center for Disease Control recommendations and guidelines. We are continually monitoring the situation as the health and safety of our students and staff remain our highest priority. Below are some of the actions we are taking to minimize risk and some of the measures to help ensure safety and health. We will follow the latest guidelines and continue to let the community know well in advance of the latest safety protocols.

  • Anyone who is sick or was sick with COVID-19 or recently in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days including staff, students, and families will not be permitted to enter the program area of Enchanted Hills Camp (EHC).
  • We ask that staff, volunteers, students, and families be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. Call a medical professional if you think you or a family member is sick. Appreciate your  assistance with helping us protect the health of all students by not putting others at risk
  • All participants upon entering our program spaces at Enchanted Hills Camp (EHC) will be required to fill out a same-day health questionnaire and have their temperature taken.
  • We will limit the number of items that are shared or touched between students and staff i.e. providing individual supplies to each participant, using disposable utensils, pre-packaged boxes for food, etc.
  • We will promote healthy hygiene practices by teaching participants the importance of, and the requirement for, hand washing, wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE), and appropriate awareness of spatial distancing (6-feet distance).
  • All participants who have been selected to attend the YES Academy are required to complete and return a Youth Conduct and Expectations Agreement around personal and community responsibilities to maintain a safe, welcoming, and productive environment.
  • Once students and staff have arrived and the YES Academy begins, we will keep the session closed to visitors, short-term volunteers, and guests to keep the cohort isolated.
  • In the event that a participant may get sick during the program, we have identified an area where they can rest, be supervised, and safely isolate themselves from others. We will communicate with families or guardians directly and, if necessary, arrange for the student to be taken to a healthcare facility for further medical care.