In 1975, the YMCA Achievers program started as an opportunity for Boston based companies to honor and celebrate the contributions of African American employees. This recognition program now reflects the rich ethnic and racial diversity of our community and has evolved to focus on creating a college bound culture amongst students of color within the City of Boston. We proudly share the impact of our work and how the program has grown:

  • More than 2,400 employees of color from Greater Boston are Alumni of the Achievers Program, representing 173 companies.

  • Adult Achievers have volunteered more than 84,000 hours in community service.

  • Since its inception, the YMCA Achievers Program has served 25,000 teens in the City of Boston.

The YMCA Achievers Program is designed to provide the critical support that low income and first generation students need to complete post-secondary education. Annually, the YMCA Achievers program serves roughly 300 high school students from Boston and surrounding communities, targeting middle and high school students with a 1.5 - 2.5 grade point average with the aspiration to attend college. The YMCA Achievers program uses an evidence-based curriculum, which is based on five pillars: Academics, College Knowledge, Positive Relationships, Life Skills, and Positive Identity.

Our curriculum’s focus is on the holistic development of each of our students. Most college access programs concentrate solely on college knowledge and academic requirements, but our curriculum is unique because of it’s additional focus on “Positive Relationships,” “Life Skills” and “Positive Identity.”

Our ability to influence these students in a variety of different settings throughout the year is critical to the program’s effectiveness. During the week, our students are supported, engaged and influenced at their local YMCA.  On the weekends, these students develop at our bi-weekly cohort meetings, which are intentionally located on the campus of Northeastern University to inspire hope and a belief that a college degree is in all of our student’s futures. These cohort meetings are taught by adult volunteers from community partner organizations such as State Street, Raytheon, Tufts Health Plan, Partners HealthCare, Eversource, and Harvard Pilgrim.

As a signature program of the YMCA of Greater Boston, we are able to reach students from every major Boston neighborhood, with the majority of youth program participants residing in Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park or Mattapan. We pride ourselves on the significant role we have played in the evolution of diversity and inclusion in our city, and for fostering relationships between current professionals and the future of our city’s workforce. We ask that you join us in making dreams a reality.