Home Local News Y-CAP celebrates YMCA Achievers during scholarship awards program

Y-CAP celebrates YMCA Achievers during scholarship awards program

More than $1.5 million in scholarships secured for students

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Students participating in the YMCA Black Achievers program were excited to receive scholarships for their academic achievements.

YMCA of Middle Tennessee Community Action Programs (Y-CAP) celebrated high school seniors in the Black Achievers and Latino Achievers programs recognizing their academic accomplishments at the annual YMCA Achievers Scholarship Celebration held May 7. This was the first year the Black Achievers and Latino Achievers celebrated at a joint awards ceremony. More than 100 people attended the event.

There were 70 scholarships presented, totaling $50,000 on top of more than $1.5 million in scholarships students secured by working with Y-CAP’s Pathway Navigator, a Y staff member who works directly with students to help identify scholarships, vocational, technical and other post-graduate opportunities. Criteria for the Achievers scholarships include program participation level and need, as well as academic success and community engagement.

Two of the top students in the programs, Cayden Leslie and Nathalie Gomez, have exciting college plans. Leslie will attend Vanderbilt University and major in public policy, while Gomez, a first-generation college student in her family, will attend Rhodes College to major in biology.

“This program has presented some wonderful opportunities, networking events, counseling sessions and friends,” said Leslie, who will graduate from Hume-Fogg Academic High School. “I would not have been able to achieve all the great things I did without it.”

Gomez will graduate from John Overton High School and said: “Latino Achievers is helping students like me achieve their educational aspirations. I’ve learned if you don’t have a seat at the table, you are more than capable of creating one for yourself. Thank you to the donors and scholarship committee.”

YMCA Achievers programs inspire and empower students to discover their strengths, shape their futures and transform the world. Black Achievers and Latino Achievers seek to close the opportunity gap for underrepresented students by using evidence-based practices to increase college application, enrollment rates and positive identity. A total of 375 students participated in the Achievers program for the 2023-24 school year.

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