YMCA Black Achievers to Broaden Reach, Change Name


Historic 35-year old youth serving program expands services and changes name for the future


January 2010 – The YMCA of Greater Boston announced today that its signature Black Achievers YMCA program will change its name to YMCA Achievers and expand its programming to reach a wider audience and more diverse demographic of teens.  The new YMCA Achievers program will now be offered at several YMCA of Greater Boston locations in an effort to create a “college bound culture” in the YMCA’s teen programming.

“For years, the YMCA Black Achievers program has been serving a very diverse range of individuals from all ethnic backgrounds.  Moving forward we want to ensure that we are promoting a sense of diversity and inclusion which is part of the Y’s five year strategic plan,” said John M. Ferrell, YMCA of Greater Boston president.

The YMCA Achievers program is made up of five core elements that are designed to provide youth between the ages of 12 – 18 with educational enrichment opportunities that will prepare teens for college and career.

Says Renee Harper, YMCA Achievers Board co-chair,  “Our goal is to encourage more high school students to become interested in attending college by providing enhanced learning experiences and mentoring through our network of minority professionals who are Achievers.  The delivery of services and programs like, College Pathways, at multiple YMCA teen centers will greatly expand our reach and positive impact on teens.”

Established in 1974, the Black Achievers YMCA had traditionally offered educational enrichment and career awareness programming to high school students almost exclusively from the Huntington Avenue program office.  Historically, the primary marketing audience was to African American families without geographic or school restrictions, but all students from all ethnicities and races were accepted and welcome in the program. Going forward, the YMCA Achievers program will include a strong emphasis on outreach to African-American, Latino/Hispanic and Southeast Asian students. The Achievers programming, now offered at several YMCA of Greater Boston locations, is providing a positive impact on more Boston teens. Learn more at ymcaboston.org or by calling 617-927-8170.