Youth and Teen Leadership

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago offers multiple leadership programs in safe, welcoming environments throughout the city. Our programs focus on enhancing skills, building confidence, and improving academic performance. By providing young adults the opportunity learn and grow, we are creating a healthier and stronger community.


Achievers Program

The Achievers Program is one of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago’s youth development programs that encourages interaction between youth and adult role models and the exploration of higher education and career options. Founded in 1971 at the Harlem New York Branch YMCA, this nationwide program fosters the academic, personal and career development of African-American and Latino youth enrolled in the 7th – 12th grades. 

Learn more


Executive Teen Council

The Executive Teen Council represents the 17,000+ teens across the entire YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago organization. The council meets 6 times a year to inform association decisions that affect teens, and plan the annual Teen Awards. We are now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 cohort. Submit your application here.


Teen Council

The Teen Council is a structured youth-led governance body that serves the mission of promoting and improving teen programming throughout the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Association. The council allows for youth voice and feedback on YMCA decisions and provides a true leadership experience for our youth. Launched in 2015 with 13 members, council youth are selected from participants at associated Y centers in a variety of programs. To be eligible to be on the council, youth must have completed at least one year of YMCA programming and be a minimum of 15 years old. Council members attend an overnight training camp in September and serve on the board for one year. Activities of the council include planning an association-wide teen awards celebration, providing feedback on teen strategy throughout associated YMCAs and providing guidance on the teen space in the new YMCA Center in downtown Chicago. For more information about the Teen Council email


Teen Awards

The Teen Council is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 Y Teen Awards:

To be eligible for an award, a youth must be at least 14 years old but not older than 19 years old as of May 2016. Applicants need to have been involved in a Y program for at least one school calendar year.

The Teen Council will also be presenting the:

This award is the highest honor that a Y teen can received. Only high school juniors and seniors or students in their final year of a high school equivalency program are eligible for the Y Teen of the Year Award. Applicants need to have been involved in a Y program for at least one school calendar year.

Click here to see 2016 recipients.


Leaders Club

The Leaders Club is a national YMCA of the USA program and an essential component of the Teen Council. The Leaders Club strives to develop leadership skills and foster a culture of service among teens ages 12 to 18. The Leaders Club prepares youth for the role of Teen Council Board Member. For more information about the Leaders Club email



Mentoring and Tutoring

The YMCA of Metro Chicago provides teens at the Kelly Hall YMCA with adult mentors and homework help to improve academic performance and school attendance. 

For more information on Mentoring and Tutoring, please call the Kelly Hall YMCA at 773.886.1220