THE POWER OF PURPOSE
Through the YMCA Black Achievers Mentorship Program, you can unite with workplaces, schools, community groups, and individuals for one purpose: to support Black youth as they create immediate and lasting change.
Together, we are supporting Black students when it matters most: during their four years of high school. As a result, Black Achievers are overcoming barriers and are more in control of their futures by pursuing their highest educational and career goals.
Our goal is to create transformative change in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for everyone involved.
Meaningful futures for Black Achievers
- Black professional group mentor support and adult allies
- Workplace visits and post-secondary campus tours
- Guidance and support in career area of interest, and improved employability skills
- Academic development, high school graduation and scholarships
- Life and interpersonal skills, and knowledge and appreciation of Black history and cultures
- Increased awareness of, and ability to cope with, issues of racism and discrimination affecting Black youth
- Strengthened community belonging and civic engagement
Impactful workplaces and a united community
- Measurable immediate and multi-year impact for Black youth
- Celebrating Black youth success
- Meaningful employee engagement and corporate social responsibility
- Growth and development of a diverse talent pool
- Welcoming and more equitable workplace, education and community environments
Mentors with lived experience are the backbone of the program as they bring to light a variety of education and career paths that are meaningful to each Black Achiever. Mentors nurture confidence and optimism through knowledge exchange, skills development, and a sense of belonging.
|"There are many things in life that will catch your eyes, but only a few will catch your heart, pursue those."|
– Shermanda Bernard, Black Achievers Mentor
|"Integrity, vision, and a supportive community are all that matters. Have faith, believe in yourself and run your race!"|
– Olivia Wilks, Black Achievers Mentor
THE POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Black youth are facing systemic barriers:
- Black youth are less likely to attain a postsecondary qualification, and male Black youth are almost twice as likely to not be employed or in education or training
- Black youth have been disproportionately affected by issues such as racism and discrimination, gun violence, and COVID-19, compared to other youth
Together, we are helping Black youth overcome these barriers. Measured outcome success with the Black Achievers Program includes increased employability, communication skills, and opportunities to set individual goals while pursuing various strategies to achieve them.
Black youth in the program are building their social support networks, gaining positive Black role models, and developing leadership skills through community involvement.
Daniel is a Black Achiever who graduated from high school with honours and earned a Desjardins scholarship along with several academic awards. He was invited to represent YMCA Canada at the Black Achievers National Teen Summit in North Carolina, where he networked with other Y Black Achievers across the US. Daniel is now in his first year of a nursing degree at Toronto Metropolitan University and is a beacon of success for his fellow Black Achievers.
You can help grow the YMCA Black Achievers Program exponentially, and give more young people like Daniel greater hope for their personal future.
When a student joins us in grade 9, we have an opportunity to make a deep and lasting impact, through the Power of 4. By providing them with mentorship, guidance, and skills-building opportunities through their most formative years — the four years of high school — they can better plan and prepare for their post-secondary and career aspirations, and achieve life-long success.
THE POWER OF COMMUNITY
Join founding organizational supporters, such as CIBC, Rogers, The Peter Gilgan Foundation, and philanthropists like Donette Chin-Loy Chang, to help expand the YMCA Black Achievers Mentorship Program. One-time gifts, multi-year pledges, and an increase in mentors are needed more than ever, to help even more Black youth who are currently on a wait list to join the program in the GTA.
Opportunities for engagement and recognition
- Engage Black professionals on your team as mentors in the program
- Invite Black Achievers and program leaders to your workplace for a tour or event
- Receive an annual impact presentation, including measured results
- Join the YMCA Black Achievers Round Table quarterly meetings
- Promote your commitment through our website and Annual Impact Report donor listings
- Opportunity for your long-form written profile shared via YMCA newsletters, website and on social media
- Celebrate Black youth success at our annual Black Achievers graduation event each May/June
- Attend the YMCA City Builders annual donor celebration dinner event