YMCA Supports Young People through Mentoring Programs and Positive Role Models

  • According to the National Mentoring Partnership, youth at risk for falling off track are 55 percent more likely to enroll in college and 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions when they had a mentor in their lives.
  • According to Youth.Gov, studies show that youth who form supportive, healthy relationships with mentors are less likely to initiate alcohol and drug use.
  • The National Mentoring Partnership reports that studies show every dollar invested in quality youth mentoring programs yields a three-dollar return in benefits to society at a minimum.

The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, offers educational and enrichment programs for youth that encourage supportive relationships with mentors and positive adult role models.  

Studies show that young people who have mentors in their lives are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and more likely to pursue postsecondary education or hold leadership positions. The YMCA provides programs that connect young people of all ages and backgrounds to caring adult mentors and role models and works to identify and eliminate barriers to participation.

“Youth development is a key tenet of the YMCA’s mission,” said Glen Gunderson, president and CEO for the Y. “Our programs create safe spaces for young people to learn, grow, and be themselves, and to receive support and guidance from positive adult role models.”

Gunderson added that the YMCA offers an array of youth-oriented programs for all ages and backgrounds, including:

  • Child care programs for kids ages six weeks to five years to learn and grow from trained teachers and early childhood experts
  • School Age Care programs, including Beacons in Minneapolis and School Success in St. Paul, that provide engaging enrichment programs before and after school and allow young people to learn from positive adult role models outside the classroom
  • Camps that allow young people to develop relationships with caring counselors while experiencing the great outdoors
  • Youth sports programs that provide opportunities to build confidence and gain new skills while receiving encouragement and support from Y coaches 
  • Teen Thrive programs that allow older youth to experience leadership opportunities and learn from Y team members
  • Youth Intervention Services, which connects young people facing barriers with Y life coaches who provide resources and support to encourage future success

See how the Y’s child care programs provide opportunities for students and teachers to grow with the support of an assessment and behavior coach – YMCA Child Care: Supporting Student and Teacher Growth.

Discover how Y Beacons Scholars Coaches provide support during the school day at Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary School to help students succeed in reading and math – YMCA Mentoring: Beacons Scholars Coaches.

Learn how participants in the Y’s Beacons program at Nellie Stone Johnson Elementary School have learned entrepreneurship skills from their mentor – YMCA Beacon Students Discover Entrepreneurship.

Because the Y is a leading nonprofit committed to helping all young people thrive, financial assistance is available to those in need. With the generous support of community members, the Y ensures that all have the opportunity to participate.