Dorri McWhorter holding a million dollar check
Apr 19, 2024

YMCA’s Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC) Partners with Old Spice 

The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago is thrilled to be a part of the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) partnership with Old Spice! The YMCA’s Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC) is working with Old Spice’s School of Swagger to increase high school graduation among boys and young men of color through mentorship and career planning.  

We hosted the Partnership Announcement event back in February 2024 at the South Side YMCA, where we celebrated and engaged with community members. In addition to remarks from YMCA leaders and an Old Spice spokesperson, we came together in the spirit of play with a youth basketball clinic with special guests from DePaul University’s Blue Demons basketball team — not to mention local celebrity and advocate Cortez Smith. 

The partnership will enable the nationwide expansion of YMCA's BYMOC Gradify program, which equips students with tools to build actionable college/career plans and mentor connections. Recent national data reveals that 80% of students who establish a career goal by the ninth grade successfully graduate high school. Recognizing the critical importance of career aspirations, the Y piloted its Gradify program in 2023.  

Within just one year, 90% of the enrolled students actively utilize the app, established a college or career plan, and are demonstrating early signs of being on track to graduate high school on time. Currently, the program has 750 BYMOC students from 30 cities participating, and this partnership will enable the program to reach over 7,200 students and 70 cities next year. 

"The Y's BYMOC strategy brings contemporary focus and practice to our historical support of boys and young men of color," said Suzanne McCormick, President and CEO of Y-USA, in a Y-USA press release. "We're thrilled to partner with Old Spice, which shares our commitment to removing barriers and closing gaps to ensure boys and young men of color have the opportunity to reach their full potential." 

We’re proud to come together to provide students with hands-on support and resources, empowering them to achieve their goals and create a brighter future for themselves and our community. Learn more about the partnership via the Y-USA press release.