Since 1998, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga has been dedicated to enriching the lives of underprivileged and at-risk youth. To enhance this mission, they started the youth and community action program (YCAP). Through various initiatives and activities, kids are able to find their passions, learn life skills, and create friendships. YCAP is able to offer these programs at no cost to families. However, funding is essential to help the organization thrive and they are always in need of donations.
“There are not enough people encouraging our youth to make positive choices and letting them know they can succeed if they invest in themselves,” said Program Director Elizabeth Dunn. As a result, many of these kids fall behind in school and get in trouble. YCAP works to get youth back on track with literacy, attendance, and behavior. The results have been very successful with 100 percent of youth improving their school attendance, 98 percent having no further issues with juvenile court, and 94 percent improving one or more letter grades in one of the four core subjects.
The youths that YCAP works with get the opportunity to participate in various activities that are beneficial in their current lives and for their futures. Some of these include basic household duties such as gardening and yardwork. During the summer, there are different theme weeks including justice week, career week, outdoor sports week, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) week, to name a few. These students also get to bond with one another through fun summer activities including swimming, biking, and fishing. “Many of our kids look forward to summer with YCAP all year,” said Elizabeth.
YCAP hopes to raise $4,000 through RedBasket.org to purchase items including educational tools, supplies for the community garden, and woodworking tools. Raising these funds would make a tremendous impact in the lives of at-risk youth in and around the Chattanooga community. Donate and share their story today!