Everyone's youth development journey begins at birth and continues into their early 20s. These journeys are unique for every young person, especially as they move from high school to early adulthood. This is why the teen years are a critically important time for youth to receive support from trained professionals and positive role models, to help them best understand their options for the future. The YMCA of WNC has several programs to engage young people in their teen years.
YMCA Leaders Club gives teens grades 9-12 knowledge, training, communication skills, and valuable team-building experience through volunteering in Y programs and the communities around them. Through student-led expeditions and service, Leaders Club promotes healthy living, social responsibility, and leadership development. Leaders Club trains teens to better serve their community and the Y as they encourage each other to make a positive impact for present and future generations.
Youth and Government
North Carolina YMCA Youth and Government's goal is to promote leadership skills, character values, and civic engagement in teens. We are led by our motto, "Democracy must be learned by every generation." Since 1993, students have experienced government first-hand and have learned how to solve community problems through the democratic process.
Students debate and discuss issues with their peers, ideas they themselves have written into legislation. The Youth Legislature teaches the values of democracy by bringing together North Carolina high school students for a four-day, three-night conference in downtown Raleigh.
Model UN and Middle School Model UN
The Model United Nations program gives teen members and adult leaders a greater appreciation for our global community through hands-on involvement with international issues and solutions. The culminating conference, the General Assembly, is geared toward developing teen members' international consciousness through role-play as they represent members of the United Nations.
BOLD and GOLD (Boys Outdoor Leadership, Girls Outdoor Leadership)
BOLD & GOLD adventures give youth the opportunity to explore the beauty of nature, face challenges, try new things, and be themselves. We explore the wilderness and grace of the Appalachian Mountains through a variety of exciting and fun activities, including backpacking, rock climbing, and river rafting. A single BOLD & GOLD group can be reflective of our greater community by combining youth from different viewpoints, backgrounds, life experiences, and ethnicities.