The YMCA Latino and Black Achievers Programs focuses on career exploration and college preparation and is a program under the YMCA's Community Action Project (Y-CAP). Y-CAP has been helping at-risk and underserved students in Davidson County since 1986 by extending helping hands that offer safe spaces with caring adults to provide academic, social, emotional and spiritual support.¹ The work that these programs do is so important because of the challenges faced by these populations of students:
- Two in three third graders are not reading at grade level¹
- One in five youth in Tennessee don't have someone to care for them after school¹
- Minority and immigrant high school students are at a significant disadvantage for college admission and subsequent career success due to limited financial resources and support from family/school.¹
- Students of color make up half of the student population in Tennessee but only 21% of high school degrees are awarded to them.²
A major component of the Achievers Programs is to help students navigate through a variety of after high school options including college, military, trades, or direct entry into the workforce.
The Latino Achievers Program also seeks to close the opportunity gap for Latinx and immigrant-identifying Metro Nashville students by using evidence based practices to increase college application, enrollment rates and positive identity.¹ With workshops focused on college applications, FAFSA, and scholarship applications, the programs have a goal of creating an encouraging and supportive environment for youth to find mentors, develop positive self-esteem, and pursue academic excellence.²
In March 2021, the Achievers participated in a virtual career panel with Nissan employees where they answered questions about career paths, education and career direction. The Achievers also learned more about the history of the Nissan and YMCA partnership. It was a successful virtual event filled with great questions and conversation!
Through this longstanding partnership, Nissan has contributed more than $435,000 over the last 10 years.
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1: www.ymcamidtn.org - Latino Achievers | YMCA of Middle Tennessee (ymcamidtn.org)
2: www.ymcamidtn.org - Black Achievers | YMCA of Middle Tennessee (ymcamidtn.org)