Youth Programs

Youth Programs

Youth Programs

EPIC offers social and emotional learning programs for young people in the community through our EPIC Pals and EPIC Lens programs.

Both programs provide opportunities for young people to engage in fun activities while building relationships with other youths and adults and learning skills including self-awareness, self-management, and responsible decision making. Both programs are offered at different times throughout the year on a referral-only basis.


Relying on the human-animal bond to support healthy youth development.

EPIC Pals works to build qualities like compassion, empathy, and dedication to service in young people by focusing on the bond between people and animals, and by raising awareness about animals in need. EPIC Pals also works to empower young people with skills that can help them better identify their own goals and work toward those goals while developing more self-confidence.

EPIC Pals has been offered in a variety of school and after-school settings and can be adapted to fit the needs of various groups.

We are looking for a few select youth serving organizations to help us pilot our “virtual” EPIC Pals series!
EPIC Pals is a social and emotional learning program that provides young people with the opportunity to learn about dogs, and from dogs, while developing important social and emotional skills.
The virtual series has one prerecorded lesson in each of Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)’s five broad social and emotional learning categories: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Responsible Decision-Making, Relationship Skills, and Social Awareness.  In addition to the pre-recorded lessons, the virtual series also contains a written curriculum to help the group facilitator continue the discussions from the video, explore further resources, and engage in related activities.  The curriculum contains enough information that anyone could implement it regardless of their knowledge of dogs, and no live dogs are needed during the program.
We are looking for a few select groups who are interested in implementing the program, and who would be willing to collect pre/post data for us, and provide us input on the program.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Jessica at or 573-587-1921.
In the meantime, check out the lesson on Social Awareness.  Thank you to Lex and our friends over at SIT Service Dogs for joining us for this lesson!  Also, thanks to rustmedia for all of their hard work on this project!

The EPIC Pals program is supported with funding from the United Way of Southeast Missouri.



In EPIC Lens young people meet regularly to learn about photography.

Students are provided with a camera that they use to take photographs with during the program. Lens participants learn about concepts that are connected to photography and life beyond photography including perspective, awareness, storytelling and emotions. Students are able to print photographs in class, and the series typically ends with an exhibit featuring the students’ work.

Want to Learn More?

To learn more about EPIC Pals or EPIC Lens, contact Jessica at

Joining together in a common effort to build a healthy and safe community, reducing the risks of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs while promoting the healthy attitudes and behaviors of youth in Southeast Missouri.