Virtual Y-Achievers Program

The Y-Achievers Program is going virtual! We build on the strengths of our youth and their families with a focus on ensuring personal well-being in spirit, mind, and body. We want to meet your middle and high school students where they are in these times and support them as they navigate this “next normal.”


September 28 - October 23

Y-Achievers programs help youth identify what success means to them and what steps they need to take to achieve their goals. In these times, our main goal is to support your student socially and emotionally. Our first workshop will focus on exploring personal interests and making connections to careers in those areas along with journaling, listening to podcasts and having discussions among other activities.

We know this is a time when things can feel overwhelming for everyone in your family. Out of school time programs can help by providing an additional caring adult for your student to talk to, process emotions with and be a guide as they explore their interests. We can also help with goal-setting and building a personal plan which often lessens anxiety and helps to remain focused.

Virtual Y-Achievers


Choose your Y-Achievers programs below, click on the buttons, and fill out the form.

Virtual Achievers Middle School A

Virtual Achievers Middle School B

Virtual Achievers High School


QUESTIONS? Contact Y-Achievers Director Casey Stratton at


Each program will have one Zoom meeting per week. All programs will also us Google Classroom along with the Google Suite (Docs, Sheets, Forms, etc). 

MIDDLE SCHOOL: Mondays on Zoom, Sept 28 - Oct 23
Group A: 2:30-3:30 pm
Group B: 4:00-5:00 pm
Office Hours: Wednesdays 2:00-5:00 pm

HIGH SCHOOL: Tuesdays on Zoom, Sept 29 - Oct 23
From 2:30-3:30 pm
Office Hours: Thursdays 2:00-5:00 pm

Attendance is not required but strongly encouraged. The Achievers Director will be available for office hours an additional day per week and Google Classroom will be a space for ongoing conversation as well as where documents will be uploaded.


Y-Achievers will become aware of the wide variety of post-secondary options available, including college, vocational training, and military service. Youth will develop a positive vision for the future while researching a variety of career paths, understanding personal strengths, and navigating financial aid systems.



Y-Achievers is an after school program that builds on the strengths of our youth and their families with a focus on ensuring personal well-being in spirit, mind, and body. Our inclusive programming creates a caring, genuine, and safe environment.

Our goal is to ensure youth are prepared to use the 21st Century skills needed for the transition from middle school to high school and from high school to college/post-secondary life. Y-Achievers exposes youth to activities that spark their interests, develop leadership skills, and equip youth with the tools necessary to succeed. Y-Achievers meets students where they are to develop skills such as critical thinking, innovation, communication, collaboration, technology, and social understanding while building awareness and access to post-secondary possibilities.


  • To help teens raise their academic expectations.
  • Expose students to diverse career and technical education options.
  • Interact with adults whose success and knowledge will inspire students to reach their personal goals.
  • Assist teens in setting and pursuing their post-secondary goals.
  • Y-Achievers will show increased understanding and use of 21st Century skills.


Our curriculum focuses on the following measures that are linked with long-term outcomes such as higher grade point averages and standardized test scores, higher confidence, reduced behavioral problems, and longer-term gains in skills to identify, attain, and retain a career:

  • SELF-MANAGEMENT: a youth’s ability to regulate their emotions and behavior, take positive risks, and persist through life’s challenges.
  • SOCIAL SKILLS: a youth’s ability to take others’ perspectives into account, develop a sense of caring and empathy.
  • CONTRIBUTION: a youth’s positive engagement with family, community, and society to develop positive purpose and positive societal movement.
  • POSITIVE IDENTITY: an internal sense of self-worth and self-efficacy which empowers youth to make decisions for themselves and develop resiliency in the face of challenges.
  • ACADEMIC SELF-EFFICACY: a youth’s motivation and perceived mastery toward positive school performance and their general sense of hope in their capacity to attain academic success.
  • SOCIAL CAPITAL: a youth’s positive bonds with people and institutions.


Programs are delivered at sites throughout the city based on the needs of the population served. Y-Achievers meet two days a week for 1.5 hours from October to May. Programming offered during the school day follows the school calendar. Each YMCA branch is also providing the Y-Achievers program. Every staff member and volunteer is trained on the Positive Youth Development Framework, Trauma Informed approach, Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Diversity and Inclusion and what it means to be a mandatory reporter.


To expose youth to vocational and skilled trade opportunities, students will participate in worksite-based learning and hear from a variety of guest speakers. Additionally, we will take visits to local businesses (including Amway, Spectrum Health, and Rockford Construction) to hear about the variety of post-secondary vocational opportunities available (including offerings at Grand Rapids Community College).


Y-Achievers will visit universities in Grand Rapids (including Davenport University, Ferris State University, and Grand Valley State University) where they will tour the campus, learn about educational offerings, and experience campus life first hand by attending campus activities. Additional college readiness activities will include financial aid workshops, essay writing workshops, and college application guidance.


David D. Hunting YMCA  |  at the branch, Burton Middle School, and Union High School
475 Lake Michigan Drive NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504  |  616.855.9622

Visser Family YMCA  |  IMPACT at the branch
3540 Fairlanes SW Grandville, MI 49418  |  616.530.9199

Lowell YMCA  |  at Lowell Middle School
1335 W. Main Street Lowell, MI 49331 |  616.897.8445

SpartanNash YMCA  |  at Godwin Heights High School and Godfrey Lee East High School
5722 Metro Way SW Wyoming, MI 49519  |  616.885.5500


Adult Achievers are a core component of the Y-Achievers program. Adult Achievers provide an opportunity to integrate a vast range of perspectives from a one-time volunteer experience to an ongoing experience a few times per month.

Questions?  Contact Y-Achievers Director Casey Stratton at


Program made possible by funders like: