Engage. encourage.
grow.
About us

Our Mission

Yellow Breeches Educational Center (YBEC) is committed to providing a quality, comprehensive, life-enhancing educational experience that is an alternative to traditional settings where our students have not been able to reach their full potential. Through utilizing our unique therapeutic components and with the dedication of our committed staff, we challenge our students to become positive members of their school, home, and community.

Our Values

The Five Pillars of YBEC

YBEC prides itself on the transformational process that occurs in the young people who walk through our doors. By utilizing unique therapeutic components, we take individuals with special needs and challenge them to become positive leaders in their school, home, and communities. Our core values thread through all our activities and are represented in the Five Pillars of YBEC. Whether it’s learning to repel off of a ledge, pushing ourselves to try a new activity, or engaging in a new lesson in the classroom, these core values are present in all aspects of YBEC programming.

Courage
01

Courage

Effort
02

Effort

Respect
03

Respect

Responsibility
04

Responsibility

Trust
05

Trust

YBEC prides itself on the transformational process that occurs in the young people who walk through our doors. By utilizing unique therapeutic components, we take individuals with special needs and challenge them to become positive leaders in their school, home, and communities. Our core values thread through all our activities and are represented in the Five Pillars of YBEC. Whether it’s learning to repel off of a ledge, pushing ourselves to try a new activity, or engaging in a new lesson in the classroom, these core values are present in all aspects of YBEC programming.

Ultimately, YBEC’s foundation rests on the relationships between students, teachers, and support staff.

The staff, teachers, and students of YBEC begin each day in the same manner – in a circle together. This gives staff and students the chance to interact, set expectations for the day, and alert staff if any individual student needs extra attention. Because of YBEC’s small staff-to-student ratio of (1-6) in the secondary schools and (1-4) in elementary schools, there is an opportunity to give individual attention to each student.  YBEC tries to make connections and strives to discover what motivates a child, whether it is just staying after school for guitar club or giving the opportunity to go fishing with staff members. Students are encouraged to share their day-to-day experiences with staff and lean on them in their times of need. Through these real and lasting relationships, students realize they are safe, valued, and cared for. This creates a safe space for students that serves as means for change.

At the end of the day, faculty and students return to their circle and discuss the successes of the day and what the next day may bring. In this way, teachers get a chance to say goodbye to each student, sending them off with daily input, high-fives, a positive observation, or a simple reminder to study for an upcoming test. In these small interactions, students leave YBEC knowing that someone cares for them, that someone would miss them if they were absent, and that someone is looking forward to seeing them again.

Occasionally, the student’s needs exceed the professional scope of YBEC staff. This is why YBEC employs a master’s level mental health counselor who provides mental health support for our students as well as serves as a resource and consultant for our staff.

School History

It all started
50 years ago.

It all started in 1973 when Mark Staszko Sr., the CEO of YBEC, was a student of Homeward Bound. This program taught young men discipline and endurance through intense wilderness experiences. These opportunities led Mark on his path to adventure and experiential education. After graduating as a student of Homeward Bound, Mark became a staff member and received the first-ever scholarship from the National Outdoor Leadership School.

Mark went on to work for several wilderness-based programs throughout the United States in a variety of capacities. Through continual training, he began creating some of the best programming in the field. The YBEC program incorporates the philosophies that Mark has found to be effective in changing the lives of students.

In 2000

YBEC was launched with the support of local area school districts. It incorporates many of the philosophies that Mark has found effective in changing lives. Unique wilderness experiences, mentally and physically challenging activities, accountability, respect for each other and the environment, an orderly academic environment, and the encouragement of discipline are all at the heart of the program. It is these philosophies that have made YBEC so successful. We are proud to say that we are now serving over 40 school districts on the East and West Shore and over 200 students in our five campuses.

Our committed staff continually strive for excellence and have kept Yellow Breeches Educational Center, Inc. on the cutting edge in the field of special education.

Have questions?

Frequently Asked Questions

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Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

- Benjamin Franklin

Interested in learning more about YBEC programming?