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Teens take the Driver’s Seat:
Youth in Progress Driving School

Youth in Progress Students
Youth in Progress Students

In the fall of 2007, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) enacted new laws about teenaged drivers. The RMV now requires teens under 18 years old to earn a Driver’s Education Certificate in order to obtain a driver’s license.

The cost of driver education programs has doubled since September of 2007, so many teens are unable to obtain a driver's license. This precludes them from driving to school, obtaining jobs, and participating in community activities.

The Youth in Progress (YIP) Driving School, supported by the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corp, is offering driver’s education to area teens at a reduced fee in exchange for participation in community service activities.

Kathy A. Felt, the Southeast Area Director for RFK, is responsible for the development of new programs and has oversight of existing programming in the area. “We saw a need for an alternative to the mainstream driver's education programs out there because too many of the kids we work with were not meeting the important adolescent milestone of obtaining a driver's license.”

The YIP Driving School supports RFK's commitment to provide innovative, accessible and affordable programming for youth. “YIP is right in line with the RFK agency's mission of helping kids reach their full potential,” says Kathy. “The kids benefit by not only obtaining their license, they also have an opportunity to give back to their communities as well.”

In order to participate in the Driver's Education offered by YIP, teens are required to participate in community service learning projects such as food drives, volunteering at local senior centers or working at shelters.

“This program provides driver's education at a reduced rate, with an interactive curriculum to meet every teen’s learning potential in exchange for their participation in a community service project.” Students have the opportunity to design and execute their own community service project prior to obtaining their driver's education certificate.

The law states that any person in Massachusetts between the ages of 16.5 and 18 years old who have been issued a Learner’s Permit must complete 30 hours of classroom training, 12 hours of behind the wheel driving instruction, and 6 hours of observation, and their parent or guardian must also complete a two-hour parent/guardian class.

The program at the YIP is a two phase, integrated, 12-week program that is taught concurrently. Month-long classes meet three days a week for three-hour sessions.

YIP is still a relatively small program, but a recent move to a larger location could enable the instructors to reach many more students. “We are not looking to put other driving programs out of business,” assures Kathy, “but we do want to meet a growing need for kids on the Cape.”

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Children's Action Corps

Youth in Progress Driving School

12 Enterprise Road
Hyannis MA 02601

For more information or to fill out an application, visit their website
or check out their FaceBook page

Robert F. Kennedy

The Robert F. Kennedy
Children's Action Corps:
Actions Speak Louder Than Words

“Justice, dignity, equality – these are words which are often used loosely, with little appreciation of their meaning. I think that their meaning can be distilled into one goal: that every child in this country should live as we would want our own children to live.” – Robert F Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps is a leader in child welfare and juvenile justice in Massachusetts. Every year, the organization helps hundreds of children, youths, and their families deal successfully with behavioral and emotional issues at nearly a dozen facilities throughout the state.

Our innovative and comprehensive programming, which includes residential treatment, educational services, community-based services, and therapeutic support, helps the children we serve grow into healthy and productive members of their communities. We bring compassion and creativity to all we do and provide a stable and nurturing environment in which children heal, learn, grow, and succeed. For more information visit their website.