Policies for Partner Organizations

These policies help us make Yleana effective, safe, and helpful for all students. We appreciate your help in sending us students who meet and will abide by these policies and helping us uphold them where applicable. Continued or egregious violations of these policies may result in a re-evaluation of our partnership.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.




Students who speak English as a second language

To succeed on the SAT, you need a solid understanding of English – both for the verbal AND the math sections. We have had many hard-working students whose first language is not English who have succeeded at Yleana. However, in order to succeed on the SAT, they need a basic knowledge of English.

Rules of thumb for the level of English necessitated by the SAT:

  • can read 300 words without looking up more than 4 in a dictionary
  • participates in class

Leaving early from camp

We require that students do not miss any camp due to scheduled vacations or other programs. We cannot accept any students who cannot commit to attending the complete three-week session AND the ENTIRETY of the Follow-up Program. We encourage students to look at their summer schedules before applying to ensure that they can make at least one of the full sessions and the entire Follow-up Program.

In the case of an emergency which necessitates a student leaving early from camp, parents/guardians are required to notify staff before making arrangements, so that we are aware that they are coming to pick up the student and when they will arrive. Please emphasize to parents/guardians that they cannot pick up their student unannounced – it is a liability for us.

Visitors to camp

Family members occasionally ask if they can visit their student while they are at camp. Students have little free time in which to accommodate this request; however, families can contact us and we may be able to accommodate a visit.

Again, families cannot pick up their student unannounced for liability reasons.

Technology policy at camp

Students may bring their phones/laptops/other devices with them to camp. They can use their devices during free time every day, or when they are specifically asked to use them during classes/activities. During all other times, phones will be in a locked box in the dorms. Staff will be in charge of distributing phones and collecting them at the appropriate times. Anyone who needs to reach Yleana can call us at (443) 201-7634. This number will ALWAYS be answered; if for some reason it is not, calls will be returned as soon as possible.

Violations of the tech policy may result in students being sent home at their parent/guardian’s expense.

Saturday test day at camp

We administer practice tests every Saturday morning while at camp. Students should let us know if they are unable to take practice tests on Saturdays FOR ANY REASON so that we can make the appropriate accommodations. We ask that partner orgs help us by providing this information, where applicable, in the appropriate section of the recommendation.

Follow-up Program

The Follow-up Program takes place in between the end of session 2 and the August SAT each year. It is comprised of four days, from 9am – 6pm each day, and takes place on a college campus in your city.

We have found that attending the Follow-up Program is the single most important action students can take to maintain their score gains from the summer. Therefore, attendance at the Follow-up Program is mandatory for all students who are accepted to Yleana.

We cannot accept any students who cannot commit to attending the complete three-week session AND the ENTIRETY of the Follow-up Program. We encourage students to look at their summer schedules before applying to ensure that they can make at least one of the full sessions and the entire Follow-up Program.

We ask that partner orgs emphasize the importance of the follow-up program to their students before, during, and after the application process, and help us encourage attendance by reminding their students before each Follow-up Program session in August.  Yleana reserves the right to limit the number of students accepted from or terminate the relationship with a partner org whose students are continually late to or absent from the Follow-up Program.

August SAT

Our program positions students to take SAT in August after they get back from camp. Waiting until October or November runs the risk of students forgetting strategies, losing momentum, and ultimately not achieving the same score they were able to achieve at Yleana!

To this end, we require all accepted students to upload a copy of their August SAT admission ticket as part of the pre-camp Phase 3 forms. Please help us achieve this goal by registering your students for the SAT in August and providing fee waivers as needed. At this time, Yleana is not an organization which can grant fee waivers. Two fee waivers are available to each qualifying student for tests for which that student is NOT bulk registered through the high school guidance counselor.

Code of Conduct

Please make sure that any students who are applying to Yleana will abide by the Code of Conduct.

We have been forced to send students home in previous years for violations of our Code of Conduct. Although we are a forgiving space, we cannot tolerate certain violations, and we will continue to send students a strong message by sending them home (at their parent/guardian’s expense) if they violate the Code of Conduct.

The Yleana Code of Conduct forbids drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, bullying and hate speech from camp.

  • Hate speech is defined as speech that defames or lowers a person or group on the basis of attributes that a person cannot control such as race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. It is extremely important for us to promote a safe, tolerant environment of love and caring. Hate speech undercuts the core of what we believe in, and will not be tolerated. We respectfully ask that partner orgs help us select students for whom avoiding hate speech and following directions will not be difficult.

The following is the Code of Conduct from 2018 in its entirety.  Small modifications to the letter (but not to the spirit) may be made; as a model, students should feel comfortable agreeing to the following stipulations:

I, ______________________________________, certify that I will abide by the Yleana Code of Conduct at all times. This Code includes the following important commitments:

RESPECT TOWARDS PEERS:  I will be respectful and kind towards my peers and teachers regardless of their religion, gender, race, ethnicity, skin color, sexuality, gender expression, or other relevant characteristic.

TOLERANCE:  I will not use language that puts people down, either directly or indirectly, because of their religion, gender, race, ethnicity, skin color, sexuality, gender expression, or personality.  I understand that Yleana has a tough no-hate speech and no-bullying stance and I commit to being positive with and supportive of my fellow students, counselors, and teachers.

DRESS:  I will wear clothing printed with words ONLY which I would be able to say according to the Code of Conduct.  That means:

  • I will not wear clothing with profanity or that puts down/bullies/hurts/targets any specific group.  If I wear such clothing, I understand that I will be asked to turn it inside out immediately.
  • I will wear clothing which sufficiently covers my body.  If I wear clothing which does not sufficiently cover my body, I understand will be asked to change into something more fully covering – I may be asked to supply it or it may be supplied to me.

WORKING HARD AND DOING WHAT I AM ASKED:  I commit to work hard, complete my homework, and in general seek to do my best in all of the activities and on all of the assignments. I commit to respond to requests by Yleana staff during the course of camp with politeness, speed, and respect.

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL: I will not use or bring to camp any drugs (including marijuana, vape pens) or cigarettes (including e-cigarettes and vape pens) or alcohol or suggest that others use or bring such items to camp. Failure to abide by this provision will result in immediate dismissal at the parent/guardian’s expense.

RESPECT FOR CLASS:  I will pay attention in class and during camp activities and seek to be polite, respectful and attentive when the teacher, counselor, camp director, or person of authority is speaking.  This does not mean I cannot disagree – when I disagree, I will be respectful of those who may disagree with my viewpoint and make sure I present my feelings in a way that does not make them feel uncomfortable.  I will challenge ideas instead of challenging people.

ATTENDANCE: I will attend 100% of classes and activities during camp, without exception, unless I am excused due to an illness or otherwise approved activity by the camp director.  If I am not feeling well, I will do my honest best to go to class and participate in activities; I will not use sickness as an excuse to not attend class if I can attend.

FIGHTING AND WEAPONS:  I will not fight with my peers under any circumstances and will never use physical violence or weapons.  Failure to abide by this provision will result in immediate dismissal at the parent/guardian’s expense.

GENDER SEPARATION:  I will follow faithfully any rules or policies about the division of boys and girls by gender.

SEXUAL ACTIVITY:  I will not engage in intimate or sexual activity with other students or community members while at camp. This includes male/female, male/male, and female/female intimate/sexual activity. Failure to abide by this provision will result in immediate dismissal at the parent/guardian’s expense.

Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in immediate dismissal from camp at the parent/guardian’s expense.

Mentoring Program

  • What is the purpose of the mentoring program:
    • Yleana is committed to making sure all our students have one-on-one college access resources. While we unfortunately are not endowed to provide a college counselor to each student, we use mentors to make sure each child gets the high-touch help, as much as possible
    • The mentoring program is similar to having a high-SES parent: that parent would know that it’s time to think about schools and make a college list, would help the student research the list using useful tools online, would remind the student to start the essay, make edits on the essay, and oversee its getting done, make sure the child has arranged for recommendations, etc.
    • HOWEVER:  The mentor is not a trained college access person; we unfortunately do not have access to an unlimited number of those! Our mentors will do their level best with the resources they have, but a trained college access person should still, wherever possible, be part of the student’s process – eg. the mentor and mentee write the essay together, but a college access professional looks over it and has the last word
      • The mentoring program should be thought of as a stopgap against NO high-touch, one-on-one college access.  The mentor is not a replacement for a trained college access person, as there is no way that a person who is not a trained college access person can provide that level of expertise
  • Who are our mentors?
    • Our mentoring program is staffed largely by Yleana alums, many of whom have just gone through the college access process themselves as low-SES students, so while they are frequently enthusiastic, they can be imperfect OR can be overwhelmed themselves by college. We are also lucky enough to have summer staff mentors, but they are also college students and can become overwhelmed by college.
  • How is the program managed?
    • The mentoring program is staffed by volunteers and while we have a staff member dedicated to oversee them, give them a comprehensive curriculum, and check in with them regularly, sometimes they also fall off the face of the earth and stop responding (that’s unfortunately part of running a volunteer cohort!).  We do our best to catch that when it happens and stopgap it as much as humanly possible.
  • What if the mentee doesn’t respond?
    • We rely on the students (mentees) to respond to their mentors, and a lot of our energy and effort goes into making sure that they do, but we don’t expect mentors to move mountains if they have an unresponsive mentee.
  • How do they communicate?
    • Any way that is convenient – in person is obviously the best, but using FaceTime/videochat, phone, and text messages as well, depending on physical location/other constraints.
  • How do you opt in?
    • Students fill out the mentoring agreement in Phase 3 of the Yleana application
  • I know someone who’d like to mentor. Can they?
    • For sure! Give us that person’s contact info and we’ll add them to our cohort!  We’re always looking for volunteers!