Empowering compassionate black and brown youth to create legacies of excellence.
A YMCA college readiness program, Y-Scholars, was developed to address the inequities and close the achievement gap for students of color, helping over 5,000 students graduate high school since it started at Garfield High School in 2004. Y-Scholars strives to provide support for students of color and their families with the tools needed to successfully navigate preparing for college, applying for scholarships, financial awareness, mentoring with alumni of Y-Scholars, and providing a continued pipeline of support during the transition from high school to higher education.
90% of participants successfully complete the program and 100% who of those completing the program graduated high school.
100% of Scholars from graduating cohorts applied and were accepted to 2-year and 4-year universities and colleges.
85% of Scholars show positive growth in grade trend.
On average, 85% of students attend 3-5 hours of study club per week across grade levels.
Y-Scholars partners with schools by placing Y staff onsite during and after school to help increase student success. This creates a cohort of students and staff who grow and advance together. Y-Scholars has successfully retained 90% of program participants through these focused efforts that include communication with students and parents/guardians, bi-monthly meetings with cohort teachers, weekly tutoring sessions by grade level, out of school time enrichment opportunities, academic intervention, and college readiness guidance.
Students join in the spring of 8th grade, participate in a transitional summer program at, and remain in the program until they graduate. Their freshman and sophomore year they are placed in cohorts together in preparation for enrollment in advanced placement and running start courses. Juniors and Seniors enroll for these courses, preparing them for future success at a 4-year university.
In addition, students receive academic, social, and emotional support throughout their time in high school. Y-Scholars strives to provide underrepresented students and their families with the academic and leadership skills needed to prepare for, apply to, and succeed in, post-secondary education. Ultimately, developing future leaders of color that our community needs now more than ever.
Partnerships with community is what makes Y-Scholars so successful. There are many ways for you to get involved, such as partnering through your school, business, or organization, donating, or volunteering to tutor Y-scholars and/or share your job skills/life/lived experiences.
Make a cash or in-kind donation to support Y Scholars.
Tutor a student or share your job skills.
Expand – Bring Y-Scholars to your school.
Become a business partner.
Before joining this program, I knew I wanted to attend college, but I didn’t have anyone or anything that could push me to help discover specifically what career path I wanted to take or how to get there. Being involved in this program allowed me to have the support and resources needed to get to where I wanted to be after high school.
— Dawit, Y Scholar Participant
We’re here for you with counseling services that span mental health, substance use, and psychiatric care for people of all ages in King County.
For immediate assistance with a behavioral health crisis or a young person’s safety or shelter, call the King County 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at 866-427-4747.
With a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, improving health and well-being, and supporting our neighbors, your membership will not just bring about meaningful change in yourself, but also in your community.