YMCA African American and Hispanic Latino CEO Networks Launch New Nationwide Commitment During Black History Month to Support Black and Brown Youth

YMCAs are Committing to Engage 100,000 Black and Brown Youth in Teen Programs to Foster Academic, College Readiness, Professional Development and Public Service Opportunities 

Washington, D.C. (February 14, 2024) - To commemorate Black History Month, the YMCA African American and Hispanic Latino CEO networks announced they will lead a nationwide pledge to engage at least 100,000 Black and Brown youth annually to foster academic achievement, college readiness and public service opportunities to put young people on the path to stability. 

As part of this effort, YMCAs will engage youth in the Y’s existing youth development programs. The four specific programs include: 

  • Achievers: A program that provides academic aid, career exploration, mentoring and more to encourage young people to raise their academic standards, build character and confidence, explore diverse college and career options and learn from inspiring role models. 
  • Youth and Government: An expansive nationwide state-organized, model-government program where teens practice democracy. Throughout the year, they meet locally to discuss and debate issues, propose legislation and more, culminating with participants serving as delegates at their state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature. 
  • Leaders Club: A program that connects young people ages 12-18 with adult advisors to develop their leadership potential while fostering a culture of service. With the help of role models and mentors, young people develop the skills they need to lead positive change in their communities. 
  • Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC): A strategy to build pathways to success to help boys and young men of color ages 11-17 reach their full potential through an emphasis on education, college and career readiness, character development, belonging and community building and health and well-being. 

“At the Y, we are committed to fostering an inclusive environment that empowers our youth to be the next generation of leaders. While we have not always gotten it right, we continue year in and year out to ask ourselves what more we can do to support Black and Brown youth,” said Suzanne McCormick, president and CEO of Y-USA. “This Black History Month, we are proud to announce this new work led by our African American and Hispanic Latino CEO networks to help support Black and Brown youth across America.” 

“The Y is dedicated to making a lasting impact on Black and Brown youth and propelling these boys and girls toward brighter futures,” said David Brown, Chair of the YMCA African American CEO Network. “We hope this program will nurture the potential of Black and Brown children and set them on a path toward health and confidence while developing the skills they need to build the future they want for themselves and their peers. It’s our hope that this commitment will enact positive change in communities that are too often left behind.” 

About the Y
Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide. Learn more at ymca.org.

YMCA African American and Hispanic Latino CEO Networks Launch New Nationwide Commitment During Black History Month to Support Black and Brown Youth