Young Eisner Scholars

Young Eisner Scholars logoYoung Eisner Scholars (YES) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with over two decades of educational development work in underserved communities. Dedicated to promoting America's promise of equal opportunity for equal talent, YES-Appalachia identifies high-performing students from low-income communities in rural Appalachia and aims to provide long-term holistic support services that meet students' academic and socio-emotional needs at every milestone along their journey, beginning in middle school and continuing through career placement.

Who does YES-Appalachia serve?

Established in 2015, YES Appalachia is the newest YES branch, and the only one that serves rural students. Like all YES branches, we are invested in leveling the educational field to ensure that all students have equal access to higher education. We do this by intentionally selecting high-achieving, low-income students who are motivated to take advantage of all educational and personal growth opportunities that they are offered through YES. The majority of YES scholars are first-generation college students, historically underrepresented in higher education institutions, and qualify for free or reduced lunch.


  • Increase educational access and opportunities for promising, young leaders from rural Appalachian communities
  • Empower historically underrepresented students to embrace educational opportunities, new ways of thinking, and self-advocacy in order to make college success an attainable goal
  • 100% matriculation and graduation from institutions of higher education for all YES-App Scholars


YES-Appalachia identifies high-achieving students from underserved communities in the counties of Ashe and Watauga in Western North Carolina. Scholars are equipped with the resources, support, and academic skills required for success through high school, college, and career.

Current YES-Appalachia Students

Are you already a student that is participating in YES-Appalachia? Visit our YES-App student website that includes programming information, newsletters and financial aid resources.

Scholar Recruitment

YES-App currently serves 77 scholars from Ashe and Watauga counties in Western North Carolina. Scholars are identified and selected from the following 7 Title I public schools in the Appalachian region of North Carolina:

  • Bethel School
  • Cove Creek School
  • Green Valley School
  • Mabel School
  • Blue Ridge Elementary School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Westwood Elementary School

YES-Appalachia works with teachers and administrators to distribute information about the program and how to apply. YES-App staff carries out comprehensive evaluations of all applicants. Essential components of the YES-App application include:

  • Grades
  • Assessment questionnaires for nominated students and their parents/guardians
  • Annual household income documentation
  • Teacher and personal recommendations

All nominated students are interviewed in their schools by YES-App staff in order to gather a holistic profile of each student. Additionally, we interview applicants and at least one parent or guardian. YES scholars are ultimately selected based upon their academic agility, intellectual curiosity, creativity, and emotional maturity.

Apply to YES-Appalachia (English Application) 

Apply to YES-Appalachia (Spanish Application) 

Applications have closed. Please check back again next year. 

Latest News

Abby Carpenter Interns with BRWIA

Summer Internship Enriches YES Scholar
Sep 15, 2023

Abigail Carpenter was identified as a YES Scholar in the Spring of her...

CAP Student, Riley Hollars

A conversation with CAP Student, Riley Hollars
May 31, 2022

Riley Hollars, a Watauga High School rising junior shares with us some recent, valuable accomplishments and opportunities helped made possible by...

YES FAFSA Workshop

CAP Programs Collaborate During FAFSA Kickoff
Oct 7, 2021

Young Eisner Scholars (YES) Program Director, Susan Saule, contributes to today’s post by sharing how a recent FAFSA workshop provided the p