Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. has begun production for “But I’m Not,” a unique public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to raise awareness of safe, effective community-based alternatives to youth incarceration and congregate care/treatment.
Developed in partnership with The CauseWay Agency and Picture Perfect Production & Editorial (PPP&E), the campaign will include digital, TV, radio and print ads that run with the tagline, “Others talk social change; we make it happen.”
A national nonprofit in 32 states and the District of Columbia, YAP partners with youth justice, child welfare, behavioral health, intellectual disabilities, and other systems to deliver neighborhood and family-based rehabilitative and other social services. YAP’s frontline Advocates, behavioral health professionals and intellectual disabilities staff receive training that teaches them to help individuals see their strengths while connecting them and their parents/guardians with basic-needs resources that firm their family’s foundation.
TV, radio and print “But I’m Not” public service announcement (PSA) ads feature three current and former YAP program participants who appear with frontline YAP staff members.
Tumani, age 22, a former YAP Youth Justice program participant, shares how as a youth, he committed crimes, even got shot. “But I’m not a criminal” he says looking into the camera.
Jaylyn, age 16, a former YAP Child Welfare program participant, shares how as a little girl, she experienced trauma, acted out, and made mistakes.
“But I’m not a mistake,” she says. Gavin, age 22, a participant in YAP’s Intellectual Disabilities/Autism program who also received YAP Behavioral Health services, shares how growing up, he was often told what he can’t do, so much that he has often lost hope. “But I’m not hopeless,” he says.
For the ads, Tumani is joined by his former Advocate, Jamal; Jaylyn is joined by her former Advocate, Milly; and Gavin is joined by Frances, a YAP Intellectual Disabilities Specialist Advocate who along with YAP Behavioral Health program staff, have supported him for several years.
At the end of the 60-second PSA, Tumani tells the audience that now he’s an Advocate, who like Jamal, is helping young people change their lives.
“This campaign brings to light how the power of YAP’s model is its simplicity. Each of our program participants shares how working with our amazing Advocates and behavioral health professionals, they were empowered to truly see and put into practice their unique strengths gifts and talents to help themselves and others,” said YAP Chief Communications Officer Kelly D. Williams. “I’m extremely excited that these public service announcements provide one more avenue for people to see how special YAP is and to highlight how the organization’s work is what social change looks like.”
“But I’m Not” seeks to build awareness of YAP as it works to serve more young people and families through expanded youth justice, child welfare, behavioral health, intellectual disabilities, and other social services systems partnerships. The national nonprofit is also expanding partnerships with cities and counties transforming public safety through violence interruption services.
YAP’s digital PSAs are already appearing in searches for people looking for mentoring, advocacy, social services and social justice jobs and partnerships. Video and radio PSAs under production this month will be available to TV and radio stations beginning late March when they will also post for sharing on YAP’s website at www.yapinc.org.