In an effort to motivate high schoolers, the YMCA of Greater New York recently launched the Path to College campaign, an online storytelling initiative for YMCA members to share their tales of success.
“For many of today’s young people, the prospect of college isn’t on the radar screen and isn’t something that’s discussed at home,” said Jack Lund, president and CEO of the YMCA. “We can help motivate our city’s teens by sharing personal stories of how we found our way to college and beyond.”
For each submission, the YMCA board of directors will donate $10 - up to $10,000 - to college-readiness programs like Y Scholars, Leaders Club, Teens Take the City, Youth and Government, Counselors in Training and Y Global Teens.
“Going to college can have a positive impact on a teen’s future, and for us to be able to impact that decision with our stories and programs is crucial,” said Tatiana Terzuoli, director of Fund Development and Communications at the Greenpoint YMCA.
A recent Nielsen study called the “2013 YMCA Outlook Survey,” which looked at 500 young people enrolled in the YMCA and 500 who were not, found that 52 percent of the YMCA youth had an optimistic outlook on their future compared to 47 percent in the other group.
The study also found that 71 percent of YMCA-enrolled respondents in the survey talked to their parents about college, while only 61 percent of the non-enrolled had the same talks.
Terzuoli said kids in programs at the YMCA would get additional motivation to further their education from the storytelling project.
“By reading these stories, they may find one that clicks with them, and maybe just give them that little push they need to take the next step closer to college,” she said.