The Gateway Region YMCA Achievers is a bi-state college readiness, career exploration, and life preparation program which provides students of color with the essential tools to pursue higher education, define life goals and identify different career opportunities.

This program is currently running at the Bayer YMCA, Carondelet Park Rec Complex, and O'Fallon Park Rec Complex.

  • Icon: Grad Cap - Noun Project Improve College Readiness
  • Icon: Career Options - Noun Projects Expose Students to Diverse Career Options
  • Icon: Thumbs up - Noun Project Develop Positive Self Image
  • Icon: Mentor - Noun Project Provides Inspirational Mentors
Want to Get Involved?

We would love to have the opportunity to talk to you about how to get involved: become a young achiever, volunteer, or donate!

Contact Chiamaka Onuoha at 314-788-2053 or

Online Application

To submit the fillable application:

  1. Fill out form online.
  2. Download the completed form.
  3. Email to

Fillable Application

Y Achievers is a college readiness, career exploration, and life preparation program open to teens (ages 13-19) throughout the St. Louis region. Although the Y Achievers Program focuses on minority, first-generation, low-income, and students with low levels of academic achievement, as the national YMCA movement Y Achievers is also multi-racial and gender-balanced.

The program seeks to inspire participants to become leaders in their community and achieve academic excellence by providing tools and activities that prepare them for life, as well as exposes them to diverse career options. Similar to any YMCA program, much of the success of the Y Achievers initiative hinges on volunteers-Adult Achievers.

Adult Achievers (mentors) are professionals from local businesses, civic organizations, government agencies, and other employers. Through our network of professional mentors, summer internships, college tours, workplace visits, guests speaker, networking events, and an engaging multifaceted curriculum, the Y Achievers Program gives students the self-confidence, life skills, motivation, academic success, and character to ACHIEVE professionally and personally.


  • White adults in St. Louis are nearly four times as likely to have a graduate degree than black adults.
  • Black adults in St. Louis are 41% more likely than white adults to have attended college without earning a college degree.
  • Students enrolled in St. Louis-area colleges and universities that complete their program within 6 years, white students are more than twice as likely to graduate from college within six years as black students.
  • In St. Louis Public Schools among young adults, white residents are 35% more likely to be enrolled in college than black residents.
  • Students attending public schools in St. Louis City and North St. Louis County graduated at rates between 71.8% and 89.9% (Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).

Monthly Wednesday Virtual Meeting
Each student enrolled in the Teen Achievers program will be expected to attend monthly virtual meetings. The monthly virtual meetings will be centered around a curriculum that focuses on life skills, career development, college preparation, and developing a positive sense of self. 

Monthly Saturday In-Person Speaker Series 
In addition to the monthly Wednesday virtual meetings, once a month teens are expected to attend an in-person Saturday Workshop. The workshop will serve the purpose of unifying Achievers from across school districts, as well as give them opportunities to hear from guest speakers that have expertise in selected Career Cluster Areas. 

College and Workplace Tours
During certain holidays, and spring breaks, teens will travel in and outer state to tour colleges and other institutions to encourage a variety of post-secondary career options. In addition during the summer months, we will focus on traveling to HBCUs. 

Social Networking Events
Throughout the program semesters, Teen Achievers will have the opportunity to attend social network events and other fun engaging activities. 

Adult Achievers lead the implementation of workshops and other activities geared toward helping program participants improve their knowledge of the college-going process, personal/professional etiquette, public speaking, and other topics within the five programmatic focus areas — academics, college knowledge, positive relationships, life skills & positive identity. Adult Achievers also assist in the design and implementation of workshops and projects related to specific careers of interest or expertise.

Adult Achievers creates an opportunity for corporations, businesses, and organizations to directly affect the communities they profit from by participating in Adult Achievers. Each year, corporations, businesses, and organizations can sponsor one or more of their employees and/or community business professionals to become Adult Achievers. Sponsored employees volunteer their time and talent to the youth involved in the program. 

If your corporation, business, or organization believes in strengthening our youth to strengthen our community volunteer today and become a part of Adult Achievers.

Our Teen Achievers program is geared toward students of color ages 13-19 within public high schools currently in the service areas of 3 strategic YMCA branches throughout the metro area. These YMCA locations include the Bayer YMCA, Carondelet Park Rec Complex, and O'Fallon Park Rec Complex.