CHARLOTTE – The City of Charlotte presented a check for $2 million to the YMCA of Greater Charlotte on June 26 to support the launch of Youth and Teen Opportunity Centers, which will provide summer programming.
“The YMCA of Greater Charlotte and the City of Charlotte have always shared the common belief that building stronger and healthier kids is essential in building a stronger and healthier community,” Mayor Vi Lyles said. “By partnering to launch the Youth and Teen Opportunity Centers, we are again showing our commitment to providing safe, supervised and productive development for our future leaders.”
COVID-19 has heavily impacted summer youth programming and employment opportunities. The Mayor’s Youth Employment Program has been impacted as 319 youth were slated for internship placements but have had to move to a virtual experience because many host employers, including the City of Charlotte, are only allowing essential employees inside their facilities.
As part of this funding to the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, $100,000 will go to My Brother’s Keeper. The nonprofit supports policies and organizations that address persistent equity and opportunity gaps among children and young men of color.
“The Y is incredibly grateful for this partnership with the City of Charlotte, which will allow us to serve the youth and teens in our community’s most fragile neighborhoods during this incredibly challenging time,” said Todd Tibbits, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Charlotte. “As we evolve our business model as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, we are laser-focused on youth and teen opportunity and health equity. This funding helps us take a deep and meaningful dive into the youth and teen opportunity space.”
The youth and teen opportunity centers will provide:
•Youth and teen programming
• Level Up program from 8 to 11 p.m., which provides teens with a safe place in the evenings
• Traditional summer camp for children ages 5 to 12
• Job skills training – youth coaching and career readiness
• Evening enrichment – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. will focus on career and trade experiences, health and wellness, career development, and personal development
• Meals will be provided to all participating youth Monday through Saturday
• Embedded in programming will be the concept of health equity – COVID-19 prevention education, increased awareness of mental health resources, increase food security
Funding from the city will serve youth and teens primarily in the area of east and west Charlotte as well as the university area. Locations receiving funding include the Johnston, Keith McCrorey, Simmons and Stratford Richardson branches.
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