Education & Leadership
Developing Our Future
At the Y, we believe that the successful development of our youth is fulfilling their innate need to be loved, spiritually grounded, educated, competent and healthy. Our programs are designed to nurture the potential of our young people in ways that foster achievement, positive relationships, and belonging. We know strengthening and empowering our youth today is investing in a stronger community tomorrow.
During the summer months, youth who lack quality learning experiences tend to lose academic skills over the school break. Such losses – which equate to two months of a grade level each summer—accumulate year after year. Studies have shown that by the end of eighth grade, summer learning loss can account for 66 percent of the achievement gap between low- and high-income students.
The Power Scholars Academy program, based on BELL’s evidence-based model, blends rigorous, small-group academic instruction with high-quality camp-like enrichment and community engagement activities. It operates 6.5 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 6 weeks. Y staff and teachers from public schools, who are trained and supported by BELL, deliver the program at schools for students in grades K-8 who are struggling academically and who lack access to summer learning opportunities in their community.
“Summer learning is one of the most effective ways to improve student achievement, Our partnership with the Y and its broad community-based network is helping us solve the challenge of scaling the impact of summer learning so that more scholars, schools and communities benefit. This is extraordinarily important work that these local YMCAs are taking on.” —Dr. Tiffany Gueye, BELL’s CEO.
The YMCA Achievers Program is committed to motivating young people to succeed in their life after high school. We want to provide support, direction and opportunities for our youth to determine and achieve their personal, academic and career goals. We also provide fun and engaging chances to explore STEM, College Life and Career Readiness
YTeens is a safe and fun place for teens to learn and grow through a wide variety of activities such as arts, dance indoor & outdoor activities, team building, self-esteem activities, field trips and more. Our activities focus on developing a youth’s self-worth, giving them the opportunity to explore different hobbies while building leadership skills and character development.
Youth & Government
Youth and Government™ is a national program of the Y that involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. As a way to strengthen the youth of our city, the Y offers Youth & Government, a simulation-based civic engagement and leadership development program designed for middle and high school students. The program requires students to learn all aspects of courtroom advocacy, developing critical thinking, interpersonal and communication skills while allowing them to learn firsthand about government, the democratic process and current civic issues. Many of our participating teens are from low income, minority families, and unlike many of their peers, would not even dream about participating in an enrichment program such as Youth & Government if it weren’t for the Y. Currently, the Youth & Government program is offered at our Westside Family YMCA and Davis-Scott Family YMCA.