Y Teen L.I.F.E. (Leadership, Inspiration, Fellowship, Education) provides opportunities for youth to realize who they are and what they are capable of achieving, while making friends and memories along the journey. Programs engage middle and high school age students in fostering a culture of service, provide opportunities to set goals and learn how to share their voice, while being supported by caring adult mentors. All of this is accomplished through our club-based program model that emphasize youth voice, youth engagement and youth leadership. YTL teens change the world while having fun and establishing positive friendships that last a lifetime.

Achievers: College and Career Readiness

The National YMCA Achievers program was founded by Mr. Quintin Mease in Houston, TX in 1967 to provide African American teens with a positive sense of self and aspirations for professional careers in the workforce. Today, the purpose of the Houston YMCA Achievers Club is to help teens set and pursue high educational and career goals resulting in graduation and acceptance to an institution of higher learning. Through academic aid, career exploration and mentoring, this clubs helps teens to raise their academic standards, develop a positive sense of self, build character, explore diverse college and career options.

Changemakers: #ForSocialResponsibility

Changemakers is designed for young people who are ready to take their passion for social justice to the next level, while connecting and collaborating with other youth leaders in a safe and brave space around issues that matter to them. Changemakers create plans and put them into action through grass roots organizing, topics of equity, social justice, advocacy and inclusion are all included in the Changemakers experience. Changemakers Club meetings are held at the Houston Texans YMCA, Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA and the Alief Family YMCA.

Leaders Club: Leadership Development & Service Learning

Leaders Club is designed to help teens ages 12-18 foster a culture of service, build character, establish a place of belonging, develop strong social and academic skills, and shape a healthy lifestyle through spirit, mind, and body. Leaders Club teens will work in groups to identify their interest, and connect those interest through volunteerism, service-learning projects, and teen led special events. With the help of positive adult role models, the YMCA has created a safe space for teens to direct their energy to positive outcomes and develop leadership skills. Young leaders will grow the skills to become successful youth in the community, their schools, their peer groups, and on their career paths.

YMCA Texas Model United Nations: Global Engagement

Texas Model United Delegates simulate the United Nations as member states who meet to solve pressing global problems with the art of compromise and diplomacy. The Texas Model UN State Assembly is a three day, two night conference for high school students that creates a working replica of the United Nations, conducted almost entirely by students. Delegates can participate in a model General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Security Council, Media Corps and more. This program cycle will begin in February 2022.

Texas State Youth & Government: Civic Engagement

YMCA Youth & Government offers a unique and memorable opportunity for teens to immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement. As a YAG delegate participants increase their political awareness while learning the meaning of social action. Delegates practice democracy through:

  • Mock committee meetings, and debating and voting on bills.
  • Participating in mock trial court or appellate court.
  • Specializing in Legislative, Judicial, Media and State of Affairs Forum. 
  • Attending the YAG Government District Conference in Houston and the State Conference in Austin.

Young people learn about the democratic system and are trained in parliamentary procedure, legislative committee process, debate, press relations, and lobbying techniques.

Our YAG program builds a teen’s confidence and nurtures their leadership skills.