Beginning June 23rd, three Charlotte branches of the YMCA will offer teenagers free access on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00pm to 11:00pm. The “Summer of Opportunity” program will provide youth with alternative ways to spend weekend nights as well as connect them with over 10 local organizations and potential long-term mentors. Several of the organizations that have partnered with the YMCA include Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
The program’s target outcomes encompass workforce preparation, improving academic attendance rates, crime prevention, and connecting participants with long-term mentors. The YMCA hopes to recruit 350 community members to volunteer with the program and become mentors. If you are interested in volunteering, head here.
While this program is new to Charlotte, designers modeled it on similar programs from across the country. They have also added their own unique touches such as offering the program at night and partnering with small nonprofits. Another distinction of this program is that there will be an emphasis on mental health and case work thanks to the cooperation of organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Communities in Schools.
The three branches where the program will take place are the McCrorey Family YMCA, the Stratford Richardson YMCA, and the Simmons YMCA. The program begins June 23rd and runs through August 5th.
What: “Summer of Opportunity” program at YMCA
When: Fridays and Saturdays June 23rd – August 5th, 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Who: Teens ages 13 – 18
Where: Simmons YMCA; McCrorey Family YMCA; Stratford Richardson YMCA