YMCA of Central Kentucky

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Black Achievers

The YMCA Black Achievers is a college and career readiness program for students in grades 6-12th, designed to help youth pursue higher educational and career goals. Nationally known as Achievers, this program involves nearly 200 YMCAs and engages more than 25,000 volunteers through networks of corporate and community partners. Many of these YMCAs have added new cultural, academic and leadership programming to serve a broad range of youth and families. Founded in 1985, the YMCA of Central Kentucky’s Black Achievers program continues to support youth through academics, career exploration and mentoring. Participants develop relationships, build character and interact with professionals who serve as role models to inspire them to reach greater heights. To accomplish this goal, the program recruits adult role models who serve as mentors and are committed to working with youth and willing to nurture and guide their development.

These opportunities enable students to make informed decisions and develop the skills necessary to compete successfully in life. For additional information, please contact Sharonda Steele at 859-367-7377. Email inquiries to ssteele@ymcacky.org.

YMCA Black Achievers Mission Statement:

Black Achievers provides educational development and career exploration for middle and high school students through a program of engaging academic instruction, experience-based career preparation and enriched cultural exposure.

Program Goals

  • Improving academic deficiencies and increasing the percentage of students who graduate from high school and go to college. To accomplish this goal, the program provides access to high-quality enrichment opportunities, tutoring and skills needed to be successful.
  • Helping youth understand and evaluate their life options. To accomplish this goal, the program exposes students to careers in arts and culture, business & finance, career and technical education, communications, computer science and web design, culinary arts and hospitality, education, engineering, medical, sports management and government service and law.
  • Enhancing the developmental assets in youth. To accomplish this goal, the program provides youth with resources to increase internal and external assets including positive experiences and student development.
  • Establishing meaningful, long-term relationships between program participants and positive adults within the community

Scholarship Opportunities

Please note that scholarships are available only to high school seniors that are enrolled in the YMCA of Central Kentucky Black Achievers Program and complete our Senior Scholarship Packet.

Since 1985 (through 2016-2017 school year):

  • 9,200+ Black Achievers

  • 1,300+ Adult Achievers

  • 1,000 Scholarship Recipients

  • $11 million in scholarships received by Black Achievers participants

2017-2018 Brochure