• Maryam

    Maryam began attending YWCA St. Paul Youth programs at age 14, and committed to regular attendance for four years. Now as a high school senior, she has gained the skills and experience to be the first in her family to attend college. Watch Video
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  • Shay

    At just 18, Shay has faced both adversity and trauma. Her experiences have transformed her into a passionate advocate for youth and someone determined to make a difference in the lives of others. Watch Video
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  • Rakeem

    Lacking a stable support system throughout his childhood, Rakeem came to the YWCA looking to build new relationships and stay on the right path. Today, thanks to the network of support he found through IMPACT, he is focused on earning his high school diploma. Watch Video
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  • Khalique

    At the YWCA, Khalique not only found a job but a positive path. Watch Video
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  • Quintin

    Quintin has made great academic strides with help from the Youth Achievers Program and Project Able. Watch Video
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  • Nena

    Nena quickly became involved in the YWCA’s opportunities to connect with other young people and to make a difference in her community. She also flourished when it came to defining her educational goals and took advantage of exposure to employment and career opportunities for the future. Watch Video
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Jaiceon

They Save the Best for Last

As Tamika sat in the audience, she was nervous. School had never come easy for her son and although he was working hard to improve his behavior and academics, she was accustomed to hearing more negatives than positives. As staff called each child to the front of the room her anxiety grew.

Name after name was called … but never her son’s. When she nervously leaned over to ask her mother what might have gone wrong, she got an unexpected answer. “Nothing’s wrong Tamika — they just save the best for last!”

Grandma was exactly right. Staff saved Jaiceon for last because his achievements during the Youth Achievers Program’s (YAP) summer program were so phenomenal. During the ten-week summer session, his reading improved by four grade levels and for the first time in his life, he was academically ahead of his peers!

Tamika is excited that Jaiceon will begin the third grade reading at a sixth grade level and couldn’t be more proud of his hard work. “I love this program,” she explains. “He’s having fun here, but he’s also learning and seeing that it’s cool to do something positive. I see him changing and I’m just so proud of him!”

Project VOICE, a collaborative community effort made it possible to offer NdCad’s Sankofa Reading Program to youth enrolled in YAP. The tutoringadded an important academic boost to a busy summer of activities, field trips and experiences designed to help youth succeed and grow.

"I see him changing and I'm just so proud of him."