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Y Scholars (College Prep)

First Group of YMCA Scholars to Graduate in June

As City high school graduation rate reaches all-time high, Y program helps students stay on track to get their diploma

New York, New York – June 2012 -  New York City’s YMCA will graduate its first class of Y Scholars, a group of exceptional young people who made the commitment and worked for consecutive years with Y staff to achieve the goal of graduating from high school and moving onto college.  One hundred percent of the students in this class of Y Scholars at the McBurney Y reached their goal.

“As America vies to maintain a leadership role in the new economy, it is more important than ever for the next generation of young people to pursue higher education,” says Jack Lund, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York. “The Y Scholars Program is helping a generation of young people know who they are, what they want to be and how to get there. The program offers not only academic assistance, but assets needed to succeed in life such as self-actualization, building and maintaining strong relationships, and social and leadership skills.”

The Y Scholars program begins very early in the 6th grade during middle school which is very rare for a college access program. Many similar programs begin in the middle or later years of high school, minimizing the lasting impact the program can have on actual college success.   Since its pilot year, the program has grown from serving 100 students at three schools to becoming a citywide effort that serves more than 700 students at 14 public middle and high schools across the five boroughs.  More than half of these students are first generation Americans. In the fall the program will serve over 1,000 young people in 16 locations. 

“The Y Scholars Program gave me the confidence and knowledge I needed to set goals and work hard to achieve them,” says Ryan Louis, Y Scholars Student. “Without the program, I might not be celebrating my high school graduation this month let alone starting college in the fall. I’m proud of my achievements and look forward to a successful college career thanks to the Y and my own determination.”

“College preparedness isn’t something that can be crammed for like an exam, accomplished in a week, or torn from the pages of a book,” says Lund. “Rather, readiness for college is a long-term academic, emotional and social commitment a young person makes to himself or herself, and the Y is there to hold that young person’s hand every step of the way.”

Program Information

Less than half of New York City's high school graduates are prepared for college.

Y Scholars helps all students and their parents realize that college is a real and attainable option. Each year, Y Scholars is introduced to a new class of sixth graders, leading them through high school on a seven-year path to college. By providing an array of case management, mentoring and coaching, students build self-esteem, develop positive social skills, and learn effective problem solving, conflict resolution and teamwork.

To get involved in the Y Scholars visit your local Y, or contact Marty Forth, senior director of teen programs at mforth@ymcanyc.org or 212-630-9647.

Y Scholars

Y Scholars helps all students and their parents realize that college is a real and attainable option. Each year, Y Scholars is introduced to a new class of sixth graders, leading them through high school on a seven-year path to college. By providing an array of case management, mentoring and coaching, students build self-esteem, develop positive social skills, and learn effective problem solving, conflict resolution and teamwork.

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