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Be a leader, find your passion, challenge yourself, learn new skills - the Y offers many programs for teens where they can experience a variety of career, college, and civic engagement pathways.

We develop and manage social responsibility programs across Philadelphia & Montgomery County that enhance the life and well-being of teens throughout our area by providing high-quality, impact-focused programs that expose teens to new opportunities, new perspectives, and new skill development offerings to help prepare them for their future.

Y Achievers

Y Achievers

The Achievers Program is the YMCA’s flagship college preparation and career readiness program. Each week, teens learn more about themselves and how they can make their mark in an ever-changing landscape while exploring options for after graduation. Interested participants can register online. Qualified participants also get a free YMCA membership!

Program Outcomes:

- Participants will gain exposure to opportunities and activities that help prepare them for their futures.
- Achievers attend weekly and monthly events ranging from skill building to college and industry tours.

Out of School Time

Out of School Time

The Out of School Time (OST) Program is an after-school program designed to allow teens to explore industries of interest, learn more about college and career opportunities and earn incentives through our partnership with the Philadelphia Youth Network. Interested participants must apply with their respective site directors at participating high schools.

Program Outcomes:

- Provides teens a safe environment to explore college and career pathways in a fun, engaging way.
- Students will participate in various workshops, earn money through incentive-based activities, and go on trips that expand their perspectives beyond high school.

Model United Nations

Model United Nations

Model United Nations (MUN) introduces students to world cultures while debating issues of international importance in a hands-on environment. Over 1,000 middle and high school students gather in Hershey, PA, every January to debate international policies, draft and pass resolutions through committees, and learn how to formulate persuasive arguments. High School and Middle School MUN programs are available at the yearly conference in Hershey, PA!

Program Outcomes:

- Learn best practices for research and writing position papers.
- Develop public speaking, negotiation, debate, and conflict resolution skills.
- Gain leadership skills and abilities, learn how to collaborate, and communicate effectively.
- Expand knowledge of international politics.

Youth and Government

Youth and Government

Youth and Government (YAG) introduces students to state political process and educates students in civic engagement and public speaking. The program culminates every year with legislative simulation that offers delegates the opportunity to debate pertinent state issues, engage in servant leadership, and, most importantly, forge lifelong relationships.

Program Outcomes:

- Learn best practices for research and drafting bill proposals.
- Develop public speaking, negotiation, debate, and conflict resolution skills.
- Gain leadership skills and abilities, learn how to collaborate, and communicate effectively.
- Expand knowledge of the state legislative process.

Teen Tech Center

Teen Tech Center

The Teen Tech Center (TTC) is a partnership between the YMCA, Best Buy, and Clubhouse Network designed to expose teens to new and cutting-edge technologies in a relaxed and fun environment. Teens are encouraged to learn by playing to discover if a career in technology could be in their future! Registration is not required, but you must sign up and sign in upon arrival. The TTC is located on the 2nd floor of the Columbia North YMCA.

Program Outcomes:

- Exposure to state-of-the-art technology.
- Increased skill development.
- Develop connections with industry professionals that are able to bridge the gap between learning and doing in a fun and engaging environment.

Conference on National Affairs

Conference on National Affairs

The YMCA Conference on National Affairs (CONA) occurs at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. CONA brings together high school students from across the country to debate and collaborate on proposals about national and international issues. This program requires students to first participle in NJ YAG.

Program Outcomes:

- Learn best practices for research and drafting bill proposals.
- Develop public speaking, negotiation, debate, and conflict resolution skills.
- Gain leadership skills and abilities, learn how to collaborate, and communicate effectively.
- Expand knowledge of the state legislative process.

Gun Violence Prevention

Gun Violence Prevention

The Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) program works with Pennsylvania's youth to create positive experiences and safe spaces while connecting them with opportunities that allow them to thrive. We will help facilitate local programming and meaningful, ongoing mentorship opportunities that help our participants grow and thrive in their lives. Our workshops help our participants grow as individuals and in their professional lives and become the best they can be.

Program Outcomes:

- Conflict De-escalation & Resolution
- Stress Management
- Career Readiness and Advancement

Student working

YMCA + WorkReady

We believe every young person deserves the opportunity to cultivate their talents and achieve their dreams. That's why here at the YMCA, we have partnered with the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) WorkReady program to provide young people in our Philadelphia communities with the skills and experiences that will prepare them for success in the workplace and beyond through work, internship, and volunteer opportunities at the Y for students ages 14-22 in any zip code within Philadelphia County.

Program Outcomes:

- Gain work experience while exploring different career paths.
- Increased skill development in a variety of job fields

Become a Volunteer

Strong volunteers help to make our programs great! If you are interested in working with teens to improve their leadership skills, challenge themselves, and make new connections we have opportunities for you!

We are seeking volunteers for our Achievers, Model United Nations, and Youth and Government programs. Learn more about the roles and submit your interest today.

Volunteer