Who We Are
YASP Leadership Team
Sarah Morris has been involved in co-coordinating the Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project since it began. Sarah first got involved in this work when she was a fellow at the American Friends Service Committee, running weekly art & poetry workshops for young people in Philly's adult jails. After her work at AFSC ended, Sarah worked with young people who had been in the workshops to help transition YASP into its own, youth-led organization. She is also member of Decarcerate PA, a coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to ending mass incarceration and the harm it does to our communities, and co-chairs the Outreach Committee of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Fair Sentencing of Youth, a statewide coalition working to end the practice of sentencing young people to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Alisha Alexander has been a youth outreach coordinator with the Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project for the past 5 years. She was born and raised in the North Philly area "not having much but had enough." It wasn't until after her family moved from the Penntown projects when she was 16 years old that she began hanging with the wrong group of girls and getting into trouble. She was arrested and charged as an adult and spent a month and a half in an adult jail. Alisha now has a daughter and said she refuse to have her daughter go through the same thing she went through. During her incarceration, she became involved in the creative workshops that YASP holds every Saturday in the Philadelphia jails. Alisha says that despite the short time she spent in jail, her experience inside and during the workshops affected her in many ways and has made her a better person today. This past August 2012, Alisha graduated with honors from the Youth Build Philadelphia Charter School. She is proud of herself for leaving the past behind and moving forward. She will be furthering her education at Pierce College of Philadelphia for criminal justice and plans to accomplish more of her goals.
YASP Leadership Team
Romeeka Williams has been a youth outreach coordinator with Youth Art & Self-Empowerment Project almost two years. At 17, she was arrested and charged as an adult. After connecting with YASP through our workshops in the adult jails, she was granted work release with us. She has since established herself as a tremendous addition to YASP's staff. She is on the road to being a great leader for the Philadelphia community, not to mention our organization.
Joshua Glenn is a poet, a mentor, and Co-founder of YASP. He is also one of the 4 Leadership Team members. Josh started working with YASP in 2005 when he was locked up and charged as an adult at the age of 16. Josh participated in the art and poetry workshops that YASP holds in the Philadelphia county jails every weekend. Josh was released from the county jail in 2007 when his case was dismissed and started working with YASP as a youth organizer. Since then, Josh has spoken on dozens of panels about youth being charged as adults and his experience with being charged as an adult. Josh has also spoken to many audiences about the school to prison pipeline and structural violence and how it is connected to mass incarceration. In 2009, Josh received a certificate from Midwest for the completion of their organizer training. Josh has lead dozens of workshops in Philadelphia public schools about youth being charged as adults and the school-to-prison pipeline and structural violence. Josh is currently on YASP Leadership Team and is working on training young people to be leaders.
The newest member of Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project (YASP), Terrance has seen a lot. Terrance is a 21 year old young man from North Philly who seen a lot of tough days and rough nights. After being sent to juvenile placement after four tough months in the adult prison system he realized jail isn’t a place he wanted to visit again. Constantly attending YASP workshops while arrested on State Road, Terrance kept in contact while in placement for 18 months and reach out to Sarah to join the YASP program after his return back home. Now home with a clear path of what he wants in life, Terrance is here to help and reach out to youth to help better their life before it's too late. After seven months on YASP staff, Terrance made his way to become apart of the leadership team for YASP