Commitment to Youth

Youth Development


North Carolina’s YMCAs are committed to building the resilience of North Carolina youth, contributing to our state’s whole child objectives. 

Our YMCAs integrate character development and social-emotional learning principles into all youth programming, from youth sports to day camp, to afterschool to overnight camp. With funding provided by the state legislature, Ys will begin work on teen mental health in 2024, with the goal to destigmatize mental health and connect youth struggling with mental health and their families with resources that can support them.

NC Ys also provide mentoring programs for teens such as Y Achievers, where adult mentors guide students of color through experiences that create pathways for success after high school. Civic engagement, community service projects and academic enhancement programs with positive adult role models support teens in their growth.

Leadership: NC YMCAs provide a wide variety of leadership opportunities for teens as well, such as the Leaders Program, Youth & Government and Y Achievers.

Child Protection


The safety and well-being of children in the care of Ys across North Carolina and the country is, and always will be, our top priority. 

As a youth-serving organization that reaches 8 million children and teens every year, the Y’s most important work is creating safe environments for young people. That any child or teen would experience harm in our care is unacceptable. Ensuring the safety and well-being of young people is foundational to everything we do at the Y to help them learn, grow and thrive.

When adults collectively understand the risks and red flags of child sexual abuse, we can do more to keep kids safe. We all have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of young people, no matter our role at the Y. When we all take action, abuse is preventable. 

Protecting Kids