Since 1998, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chattanooga has worked to enriching the lives of underprivileged and at-risk youth. To enhance this mission, they started the youth and community action program. Through this program, kids are able to find their passions, learn life skills, and build relationships.
YCAP is able to offer these programs at no cost, making funding an important aspect of the program, said officials. They are always in need of donations to aid in program costs. To continue this program, they’re raising money through RedBasket.org.
“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 kids fall behind in school and get in trouble. YCAP aides guide youth in the right direction through literacy, attendance, and behavior.
The program has improved the attendance of 100 percent of the youth, resulting in improvement of grades among 94 percent of students. In addition, 98 percent of kids in the program are no longer involved with the juvenile court system.
Children involved with the YCAP are able to participate in activities that will benefit them in the long run, including gardening and yard work. During the summer, there are different theme weeks including justice week, career week, outdoor sports week, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) week. These students also bond with one another through summer activities including swimming, biking, and fishing.
“Many of our kids look forward to summer with YCAP all year,” said Ms. Dunn.
YCAP hopes to raise $4,000 through RedBasket.org, a fee-free fundraising website, to purchase items including educational tools, supplies for the community garden, and woodworking tools.
The fundraiser will be open for donations until April 6. To learn more or to make a tax-deductible donation please visit https://redbasket.org/1598/empowering-youth-with-ycap.