Clarissa Mejia with YSS


Clarissa worked with the Post-Secondary Education Retention Program (PSERP), a program through Iowa Youth Homeless Center and YSS, which helps low-income, at risk of homelessness and/or first generation college students, focus on their studies as well as become more involved in their community. Her work focused on implementing a student engagement component to the program that works to make community involvement more accessible to working students. Through this, the goal is for students to gain the skills and experience they need to begin their careers post-graduation. Clarissa helped develop a kickoff workshop for participants, and compiled volunteer resources to be used throughout the year.


  • Surveyed career and life interests of program participants

  • Researched barriers to engagement for students who face barriers to adapt program accordingly

  • Coordinated a year of workshops, guest speakers, and community partnerships


20-40 youth with goal to scale over time

Articles written by Clarissa