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Youth Development - Youth Potential


At the Y, we’re committed to ensuring every child has an opportunity to envision and pursue the best possible future. Through our many youth development programs, we inspire kids and teens to achieve their personal best academically, socially, emotionally and physically. We believe it’s important to help kids navigate the early years to develop lifelong skills and build self-reliance so they'll know how to make positive, values-based choices as they learn and grow into adulthood.

Impacting Generation After Generation

With so many demands on today’s families and the increased focus on holistic development, families need all the support they can get to nurture the potential of youth. The Y provide parents with positive outlets to give their kids — from visual and performing arts to sports and academic programs, the Y inspires youth potential. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte served thousands of kids last year in our programs and gave financial assistance totaling $2.3 million to families whose children would not be able to participate in programs without it. It’s our mission to provide all youth with the tools and resources they need to experience success now — and in life beyond childhood.

Guiding Youth From the Heart

The success of kids is fostered by caring adults who make them feel loved, competent, happy and healthy. Our highly trained and credentialed staff and talented volunteers consider working at the Y more than a job, but a calling to impact the lives of youth and their community. They take seriously their position as mentors and role models, honored to share a part of this very important — but very inspiring — responsibility in helping youth realize who they are and what they are capable of achieving.

Closing the Achievement Gap

All children and teens have potential. But research shows that many youth from underserved and low-income families need extra support in reaching this potential. They often start kindergarten underprepared and fall behind their peers as they progress through school. This “gap” in achievement presents not just immediate hurdles for these students, but also long-term challenges for us all. We work with caregivers, students and schools to close the gap with programs that improve students’ educational readiness, engagement and outcomes, while helping them grow emotionally and physically, too. This impacts not only youth, but the strength of our communities as well.

Youth Potential
For Youth Development

Adventure Guides

Adventure Guides creates a framework for fathers and children to spend quality time together plus meet and interact with other families with children the same age. As part of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Adventure Guides delivers opportunities to enhance spirit, mind and body. Members learn the character values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility and faith which are core values of the YMCA.

Let's Move Outside

Children and youth today are spending less time outdoors than any generation in human history. Let’s Move! Outside wants to bridge the gap by connecting youth and families with green space, local parks and public lands within their communities.

Level Up

Level Up is an outreach program that offers youth ages 13 – 18 free access to neighborhood Ys on weekend nights during the summer. The program aims to give youth positive outlets for their time and energy, prevent crime, promote health and reduce academic summer regression.