Youth Development

youth development

Every young person deserves a bright start to their adult future regardless of the resources they’ve grown up with. YWCA St. Paul’s Youth Development programs provide connections, resources and a safe place to build a community.

Alaysha's Success Story

Alaysha is a participant in YWCA St. Paul’s YW Stride, which supports young women of color who are transitioning from foster care by helping them secure stable housing and navigate relationships, resources and systems. Her incomparable spirit and determination have helped her achieve goals she once thought impossible.

Core Programs

YWCA St. Paul Youth Development programs empower young people to build bright futures. Programming helps young people affirm who they are, and supports them in building leadership skills, employment readiness and academic success. Open to young people ages 15 to 22. Transportation assistance available. Ready to get involved with one of our Youth Programs? Contact our Youth Program Manager, La’Shante Grigsby at to get started!

Girls Emerge is a program that gives young women the opportunity to create community, affirm identity, explore careers, and promote social justice through a racial and gender equity lens. If you want to start achieving your personal goals while gaining valuable leadership skills as you learn about advocacy and community building, check out Girls Emerge.

All participants of Girls Emerge will receive a Power Planning Pack to help organize thoughts and schedules as we plan for powerful futures. Take action, join today and become your best self with Girls Emerge.

YW Stride helps young women of color ages 18–24 who are transitioning from foster care by helping them secure stable housing and navigate relationships, resources and systems. Leveraging the unique combination of services offered at YWCA St. Paul and the expertise and collaboration of our Youth and Housing & Supportive Services programs, staff provide life coaching and empower participants to build confidence and self-efficacy through an 18-month program.

Participants may also access any other YWCA St. Paul programs they are eligible for during their time in the program. This is a referral-based program only. To refer your client or patient, contact Holly Marshall at

YWCA St. Paul helps young people ages 16–24 explore potential career paths by providing paid experiential learning opportunities to gain first-hand knowledge and experience in their career field of interest for up to 12 weeks.

As a participant in YWCA St. Paul’s Youth Employment Services, you’ll have access paid training through career-readiness workshops and personalized coaching to explore career fields, gain a better understanding of skills and interests and build your confidence in and beyond the workplace. Want to get started? Contact Angie Rouch, Youth Support Specialist, at 651-243-1864 or

All workshops are currently offered remotely for the safety of participants and YW staff.


YWCA St. Paul is looking for business and community-based partners to offer youth a first work experience and/or explore careers based on their interests and skills gained through the program. To get started, contact Contact our Youth Program Manager, La’Shante Grigsby at

YW’s Youth Employment Services is funded by Workforce Solutions, a department of Ramsey County, a proud partner of CareerForce.

We are so proud to provide leadership and advocacy development to the YWIMN Cabinet of remarkable young women at YWCA St. Paul!

The Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWIMN), a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and the State of Minnesota, is a public-private partnership and a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment to achieve equity in opportunities and to improve the lives of young women of color, American Indian young women, young women from Greater Minnesota, LGBTQ youth, and young women with disabilities.

YWCA St. Paul hosts the Cabinet, comprised of 32 young women and youth leaders ages 16–24 appointed by the Governor, in actively engaging in leadership and advocacy development, philanthropy, policy initiatives, and community engagement to address disparities for girls and young women. 

Join YWCA St. Paul's Youth Programs

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