About YES Institute

Martha Fugate, YES Institute Co-Founder, leading a training for Volusia County Schools. 

Our mission is to prevent suicide and ensure the healthy development of all youth through powerful communication and education on gender and orientation.

50% of bullying in schools is based on gender or orientation slurs

80% harassed as gay in schools identify as heterosexual

Gay youth rejected
by their parents are
8 times more likely
to attempt suicide

Transgender youth have a 33% suicide attempt rate

YES Institute staff in Bogotá, Colombia conducting workshops in Spanish language.

Groundbreaking Education Courses  

Communication Solutions™      Two-day course
YES Institute’s unique approach to education and interaction is based on a communication model that effectively engages the entire community by including all viewpoints. This model of communication, infused in all our work, teaches you how to be authentic and openly share beliefs and fears often withheld in public discussions. Powerful communication gives you access to breakthroughs and provides the opportunity to produce results, even in the face of disagreement.

Gender/Orientation Series™      8-hour courses
 1. Gender Continuum
 2. Deciphering the Matrix of Orientation
 3. Being and Belonging
This series delves into the source of discrimination and harassment, unraveling our basic premises about gender and orientation and how all of these concepts affect the healthy development of youth. The body, gender, and orientation are distinguished as three separate aspects of human experience. These distinctions provide a new understanding of how gender impacts our ability to relate authentically to ourselves and others. The concepts of transgender and intersex are also examined, demonstrating how new knowledge and research is upending conventional notions of biological sex and gender.

Masculinity Distinguished    
8-hour course
Masculinity is traditionally conceptualized as the predominant position of privilege and power. This course looks beyond what is assumed and examines the constraints and expectations for the illusive "ideal male". We begin a fresh inquiry into the meanings of relating in a polarized gender equation.

Essentials of Gender & Orientation   
8-hour course This course is where parents and youth new to this conversation start their exploration of the Gender/Orientation Series™ course material.

Leadership in Action
8-hour courseThis course is designed to take your nonprofit, community program or business venture to the next level of impact, further applying distinctions of the Communication Solutions™ course. 

Joseph Zolobczuk addressing FIU School of Medicine students. 

Continuing Education 

YES Institute is an accredited continuing education provider by the following: 
  • Florida Board of Nursing [BAP #697]  
  • Florida Board of Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy & Mental Health Counseling [BAP #697]  
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools
    Division of Student Services  
Community Dialogues 

93% of participants rate YES Institute community dialogues and courses worthwhile or extremely worthwhile [N=4,336]. 

YES Institute opens conversations across a wide variety of communities and professional venues, such as schools and universities, parent groups, social service providers, medical facilities, and churches and synagogues. We consult with leadership teams in developing and implementing action plans for environments where all young people can be safe. With the support and contribution of hundreds of volunteers speakers, we reach over 4,000 people each year. Their voices and unique experiences of gender and orientation open hearts and inspire communities to take systemic action. 

Sky Guilbaud (center) YES Institute Community Liaison and guest speaker. 

Demonstrated Impact 

Analysis of 2010 & 2011 Pre/Post evaluation surveys shows statistically significant self-report outcomes from YES Institute presentations

  • Increase in comfort dealing with youth and adults who identify or are labeled gay or transgender.
  • Increase in knowledge of gender and orientation. 
  • Increase in commitment and actions to make a difference on gay and transgender youth.
  • Decrease in “anti-gay” epithets, bullying and hurtful comments. 
  • Decrease in number of people viewing “gay or transgender as sick and disordered”.

Brandon, YES Institute speaker, addressing high school students. 

Fiscal Integrity and Responsibility 

YES Institute is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States. Every year since inception, a third-party accounting audit has been conducted to ensure fiscal accountability. 

92% of every dollar directly funds YES Institute programs. 

Administrative costs utilize 8%. 

Kiaora Society Membership 

Kiaora Society members contribute a minimum of $1000 yearly to invest in the cutting edge work of YES Institute. If you are intereted in joining the Kiaora Society of donors, please contact Eva Leivas-Andino, Chief Financial Officer at 786-301-3940. 

Featured Partnerships with YES Institute

  • Episcopal Church of Southeast Florida 
  • Family Resource Center
  • Florida International University
  • Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital 
  • Miami-Dade College
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools 
  • Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity 
  • University of Miami, School of Education
  • Volusia County Public Schools

Contact YES Institute

Visit our website contact page for more information.