Black and Latino Achievers

Thank you to all who have registered. Kick-off is on September 22!

The YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Black and Latino Achievers Program is a college readiness and career exploration program, which provides teens with the essential tools to pursue higher education and to identify different career opportunities.


Strengthening the community by strengthening lives is the heart of what the YMCA is all about. It is the focus of our YMCA Black and Latino Achievers Program, one student and one volunteer at a time. Through the school year, career oriented adults help us engage teens in hands-on learning emphasizing college readiness, career exploration and leadership development. There are workshops, college tours, Toastmasters and more. Each year hundreds of area students are changing the direction of their life, growing spiritually and intellectually, because they are a YMCA Teen Achiever. Since our program's beginning, it has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships, assisted youth with over $4 million dollars in awarded scholarships and engaged more than 4,000 adult volunteers through a network of corporate and community partners. 

It all began in 1968. A group of Black staff called the Black and Non-White Y Secretaries (BAN-WYS) was established to work with metro YMCAs to address important concerns of people of color. Two years later, the group was discussing a program designed to motivate African American teens toward academic and career success. First conceived by Quentin Mease, that program was the Young Black Achievers of Houston, Texas. By 1971, the Harlem YMCA branch launched the very first YMCA Black Achievers Salute Gala and Teen Program in the format it is known today – and it quickly spread to branches and associations nationwide, including Greater Cincinnati. Actually even before Harlem’s program, our Cincinnati staff began cultivating support for such a meaningful and consequential effort. By 1979, it became a reality and our first YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Black Achievers Committee was established. Those special men and women gifted our community with a legacy that will live on for generations. Today, our Black and Latino Achievers Program is one of the region’s largest programs of its kind, partnering with area organizations and adult role models to inspire and encourage teens of color to pursue post-graduate work, establish careers, and give back to a community that helped guide them on their journey.

College Readiness
NACAC: National Association for College Admission Counseling

Session 1: It is all about me! My future plans start today

  • Short term plans vs. long term plans
  • Jobs vs. Career

Session 2: There is a college for everyone!

  • Community Colleges
  • Traditional Colleges and Universities
  • HBCU Colleges
  • Comprehensive Institutions
  • USA Military Academies

Session 3: Going to college starts now: Curriculum and Testing

  • High School Curriculum
  • Advance Placement Classes
  • ACT and SAT testing
  • Dual Enrollment Classes

Session 4: The College Search and Applications

  • Tips for college surfing college websites
  • College visits
  • College fairs
  • Filling out an application
  • Common Application

Session 5: How to pay for college?

  • In state vs. out of state tuition
  • Scholarships
  • Loans

Session 6: Extracurricular Interest and Activities

  • High School Clubs
  • Student Athletes
  • Fraternity and Sororities

Career Clusters and Activities

  • Business Series
  • Engineering/Technology (Lego Mindstorms Robots Series)  
  • Health/Medicine Professional Panels   
  • Law/Government (UC Black Law Student Association - Mock Trial Experience)
  • Toastmaster
  • Financial Education (BB&T)

Program Outcomes

Teen Achievers successfully graduate high school and are prepared to enter college.
• 100% of senior students graduate high school
• 80% of students will increase their knowledge in college readiness material
• 80% of seniors will take at least one of the following tests: PSAT, ACT, SAT and Compass
• 80% of seniors will complete a FAFSA application
• 80% of seniors will receive at least one letter of acceptance to an accredited university, college or community college
• 70% of students will participate in a college fair/college tour

Teen Achievers are exposed to diverse career options.
• 80% of students will increase their exposure to career options through the career clusters
• 70% of students will increase their knowledge in financial literacy

Teen Achievers are academically and socially successful during their first year of college.
• 80% of students are enrolled in higher education after high school
• 60% of students will successfully complete their first year at an accredited university, college or community college

Criteria and Enrollment

Thank you for your interest in our YMCA Achievers program. Currently we are planning our exciting 2018-2019 activities. Program registration forms will be available on Monday, August 6th.  We will keep you informed.

Muchas gracias por su interés en el programa Achievers. En este momento estamos planeando nuestras actividades de para el año escolar 2018-2019. Las formas de registro estarán disponibles a partir del día 6 de Agosto del 2018. Le mantendremos informado.

Since it began, the Achievers Program has engaged more than 4,500 adult volunteers. Over 40 professional mentors continue to be actively involved in the program.

If you would like to obtain a volunteer application please contact Amit Dutta  Tel (513)362 2048

The Achievers program and its academic partners award scholarships to Teen Achievers who meet both the program's and the academic insitition's criteria, and in their senior year, and planning to attend college. Scholarship opportunities:


• Morehead State University, (2) two full scholarships

• Northern Kentucky University, (1) one full scholarship, including room and board

• Hanover College, (1) one full scholarship

• University of Cincinnati, (1) one full scholarship

• Thomas More College, 50% tuition reduction

• Mt. St. Joseph University, 50% tuition reduction

• University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash Campus, (3) three partial scholarships


Additional opportunities:

  • College tours and fairs
  • Paid summer internship opportunities, when available
  • STEM and educational field trips
  • Service learning opportunities