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.

Maryam's Success Story

The oldest of four and a first-generation American, Maryam has been attending YWCA Youth programming since she was 14 years old. Now, at 18, she is balancing an internship, a job at YWCA St. Paul Health & Wellness Center Kids Care and teaching at her mosque while finishing her senior year classes and taking college courses. Thanks in large part to motivation from her mother and the skills she’s learned through four years of Youth programming, she’ll be attending college in the fall. Click here for video transcript.

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 meets weekly to give young women the opportunity to create community, affirm identity, explore careers, and promote social justice through a racial and gender equity lens. Meets on Wednesdays from 3 to 3:30 p.m. on Zoom. Read more about our Summer Series of workshops.

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 our Nikki Beasley at

Learn to work and work to learn! Meet one-on-one and with a group to explore and set career goals, learn what you need to be a star employee, and earn experience and credentials through paid work training and experience.

As a participant in YWCA St. Paul’s Youth Employment Services, you’ll have access to a four-week training program to increase employability skills. Completing this training provides opportunities to gain paid experience in professional work spaces with experiences individually tailored to your interests and skills. 


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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