Youth Empowerment Programs

The YMCA offers a variety of specialty classes, programs and services for teens to help them give back, read ahead, work out, learn a new skill and meet friends.

Y-Achievers Program

College and Career Readiness

The YMCA Achievers program of the YMCA of the USA is an academic achievement/career development initiative purposed to help young people set and pursue high educational and career goals. Our vision is for every high school students to have access to college and other career readiness resources through committed leaders and dedicated organizations in the community.

We help young people identify what success means to them and what steps they need to take to achieve their goals.

The program is delivered through workshops, mentoring, college tours and more. Through a multi-faceted approach, Y Achievers incorporates Core Program Components, The Five Pillars, and the 6 to 16 Curriculum. The latter includes a set of online learning experiences that give students the beliefs, knowledge, skills, and support to successfully complete high school and post-secondary opportunities.

See Video About The Program

Leaders Club

Service Learning and Civic Engagement
Leaders Club is a YMCA-based leadership-development program for young people in middle school. This program provides them with extensive leadership training and volunteer opportunities that support YMCA programs and services to the community. In addition to teaching young people leadership through service, Leaders Clubs advisers
  • Introduce teens to all the work the YMCA does to strengthen community
  • Inspire and prepare teens to become future Y Leaders

The goal of the Leaders Club is to empower young people to affect their communities in positive ways. The program includes a curriculum that focuses on developing leadership skills, community pride, program planning, and resource mobilization. The Leaders Club curriculum provides young people with the tools to become leaders among their peers and to change their community.

Young Entrepreneur Program

Fostering Entrepreneurship

Through a series of workshops and activities, young people learn how to turn their ideas into launching a business or social movement. Students learn workforce readiness and important life skills in a fun way. This program helps to create an entrepreneurial mindset and connects participant’s passion with defining a problem, finding solutions, and developing a pitch for their solution.

Our program culminates in a pitch competition (like what you would see on the shark tank) in which young people receive individual feedback from local entrepreneurs, program staff, and peers on their business ideas. Through this experience, young people will exchange ideas, lessons learned, and best practices with fellow participants during formal and informal sessions as they enhance, education & empower one another.

Young Men of Distinction (YMOD)

Entrepreneurial Leadership

YMOD is a leadership and entrepreneurship program that seeks to engage, empower, and educate males in middle school. Young people will have the opportunity to identify their passion, transform their ideas into a business or social movement, develop lifelong leadership skills and connect with mentors. Designed to strengthen and improve life outcomes for young males of color.

We will provide young people with hands-on learning, valuable coaching with the help of local entrepreneurs and business leaders who will also serve as program mentors will guide participants through the process of turning their innovative ideas into business opportunities.

Youth and Government

Civic Education
Young people have the opportunity to learn first-hand how our state government works—not by watching, but by doing!

Youth & Government is a national YMCA program for young people in grades 7-12 separated with middle and high school components.  The Model Legislature & Court program brings together young people for a hands-on, unforgettable experience. Participants are trained in various government and court roles in preparation for the annual Model Legislature and Court Conference typically held at the Statehouse each February.

Student Representatives and Senators elect their leadership, research current events, and write all the bills for this year’s program. For these legislators, the Youth in Government experience culminates by debating their bills in the House and Senate floors and seeking signature by the Youth Governor.

The Court program is an opportunity for students to be exposed to the judicial process. They can participate as an attorney or even be elected to serve as a judge on the Supreme Court. Students learn how to examine a court case, and then choose and defend a position. This conference provides delegates an opportunity to learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process as well as debate and discuss issues with their peers from throughout Indiana.

Youth Employment Services (YES) Indy

The Youth Employment Services (YES) Indy Program helps individuals looking for a job and/or hoping to continue their education. YES Indy is a free program funded by a grant through EmployIndy. The program identifies out of school young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who reside in Marion County and are in need of services.

The program offers career training, case management, educational training and supportive services by taking a holistic approach. This approach will account for the participants physical, emotional, social, and mental health needs while helping them to secure and sustain employment and/or achieve higher education. For those who have dropped out of school, the YES program will assist them in obtaining their High School Equivalency. The program also provides 12 months of follow-up support to foster leadership and maintain progress of goals

YES Indy offers out of school and/or work, young people an opportunity to explore new opportunities to find the right direction in their life with no expense to them. The overall goal of the program is to provide young people with the tools needed to become self-sufficient and reach their full potential.

If you live in Marion County and want to learn more about the program and see if you are eligible, contact Jamie at 317-344-9377 or

Young Peoples Advisory Council

Leadership Empowerment  
The virtual Young Leaders Advisory Council is a program empowering young people ages 13-18 who will advise, inspire and shape how we build community. We are looking for motivated and dedicated young people to join us. As part of this representative group, participants will share their opinions on various issues that affect young people within the YMCA and the greater Indianapolis community.
Programs & Activities