The YMCA of Central Kentucky Black Achievers Program is a college and career readiness program for students in grades 6-12, designed to help youth of color set and pursue higher educational and career goals.

The Black Achievers Program reaches into the heart of the community with the help of dedicated volunteers, educational institutions, corporate sponsors and community partners who support the program through time, talents and treasures.

Founded in 1985, Black Achievers continues to support youth through academics, career exploration and mentoring. Participants develop relationships, build character and interact with professionals who serve as role models to inspire them to pursue their dreams.

Program Goals

  • Improving academic deficiencies and increasing the percentage of students who graduate from high school and go to college. To accomplish this goal, the program provides access to high-quality enrichment opportunities, tutoring, and skills needed to be successful.
  • Helping youth understand and evaluate their life options. To accomplish this goal, the program exposes students to careers in arts and culture, business & finance, career and technical education, communications, computer science, and web design, culinary arts and hospitality, education,  engineering, medical, sports management and government service and law.
  • Enhancing the developmental assets in youth. To accomplish this goal, the program provides youth  with resources to increase internal and external assets including positive experiences and student development.
  • Establishing meaningful, long-term relationships between program participants and positive adults within the community

Participants and Families

The Black Achievers Program meets every second and fourth Saturday at Transylvania University and participates in a variety of academic development and career explorative activities.

  • Workshops on SAT/ACT preparation
  • Study skills/time management
  • Interviewing techniques
  • Financial Literacy
  • Team-building field trips
  • Community service-learning projects
  • College tours


Scholarships are provided to senior participants who successfully complete the Senior Scholarship Portfolio. Scholarships provide students with the support they need to continue to do well in school and the assurance that their community cares about and supports them. Scholarships are provided through the support of corporate sponsors who believe in the mission of Black Achievers and the YMCA. Please consider making a scholarship contribution for our students.

Corporate Opportunities 

Varying sponsorship levels allow companies to provide program support for the Black Achievers Program. It is through this support that the program is able to provide academic, career and personal support to students and families.

Though program sponsorships corporations, businesses and organizations sponsor employees and/or community business professionals to become Adult Achievers. Sponsored employees volunteer their time and talents to the participants involved in the program.

Adult Achievers

Each year, corporations, businesses and organizations nominate successful role models in professional and managerial positions to serve as Adult Achievers for the school year. Adult Achievers are recognized for their professional skills, program support and their desire to give back to the community.

To learn more about the Central Kentucky YMCA Black Achievers Program and how you can get involved as a participant, volunteer, sponsor, adult achiever or to reconnect as a Black Achiever alumni please contact Marcus McAlpin mmcalpin@ymcacky.org