YMCA receives $125,000 for new teen leadership program

Earlier this week, the Anaheim Family YMCA received a $125,000 grant from Accelerate Change Together to continue addressing critical needs facing today’s youth in our community.

In November of 2013, the Disneyland Resort, the Anaheim Angels, and the Ducks came together and formed the Accelerate Change Together (ACT) collaboration and announced that they were committing $3 million dollars to help youth in Anaheim.
They encouraged local organizations to apply and then selected ten award recipients that were awarded grants that ranged from $100,000 to $200,000.
“The ACT funding will propel the Y’s efforts to nurture the full potential of youth and teens,” said Paul Andresen, President and CEO of the Anaheim Family YMCA. “In partnership with Inside the Outdoors and Village plan partners, we look forward to instilling youth with 21st century skills as they shape their own and their community’s future.”
With the ACT funding, the Anaheim Family YMCA, in collaboration with the Inside the Outdoors and Village Plan partners, will launch new Future Leaders Clubs (FLC) in the fall of 2014. FLC will create a unique after-school experience for youth 13-18 that combines three core areas: S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)/21st century work skills, leadership development, and service learning.
The program will impact 40-50 students per school site (120-150 total in the first year) Monday through Thursday, and select Fridays/Saturdays, from October 2014-July 2015, culminating with the Emerging Leaders summer training session and graduation. FLC will include engagement opportunities for both youth and parents, such as: program design meetings; S.T.E.M activities and Traveling Scientist experiences; career planning; youth-led community service learning projects; and field trips throughout the year.
Through Future Leaders Clubs, the Y addresses critical needs identified in the 2013 Anaheim Youth Services Assessment, including the need to offer more teen programs, engage families, and create safe environments for youth outside of school hours.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to engage and empower older youth,” continued Andresen. “They truly are our future leaders and our community will be in great hands because of them.”

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