The Young Adult Literacy Program targets disconnected youth who lack the reading, writing and/or mathematics skills to be enrolled in a high school equivalency (HSE) tests preparation program. YALP is designed for disconnected youth between the ages of 16-24 years old who are reading at the 4th to 8th grade reading equivalent level. Participants receive pre-HSE basic skills instruction complemented by comprehensive support services, with the goal of improving students' literacy and mathematics skills so that they can enroll in a HSE tests preparation class. A key program element is a paid internship for students who maintain a minimum 70% average attendance rate, which helps programs retain students and offers students an opportunity to participate in a range of community service projects.
Services are currently provided by eight community-based programs (CBOs) and eight public library sites, all of which are experienced providers of services to disconnected youth. An outside consultant(the Youth Development Institute) has been retained to provide technical assistance geared to each program’s needs. YALP was developed in collaboration with the Mayor's Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO).