2018 Lightner Y Achievers Celebration

LYA seniors 2018
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The 15th annual Clarence E. Lightner Y Achievers banquet on May 8 at the Raleigh Convention Center was a celebration filled with hope and legacy as guest speaker Dr. Kimberley Richards inspired graduating seniors to Empower More, Achieve More, Be More, Serve More.

Richards is an Organizer, Trainer and International Consultant with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

LYA Highlights

Y Achievers Mark Alston Jr., Alexis Blue, Gabby Davis, and Julian Sansom Goodman shared highlights of this year’s LYA program.

  • 35 LYA teens along with six chaperones attended the LYA college tour in DC, MD and VA.
  • 8 LYA teens attended the NC YMCA Youth & Government Conference.
  • The annual LYA College Day served more than 250 YMCA of the Triangle teens.
  • Piloted the high school YMCA LYA curriculum program at Heritage High School.
  • More than 25 LYA teens work at YMCA After School and Summer Day Camp programs.
  • Teen Achievers and Adult Volunteers have completed more than 2,000 hours of community service

Senior Recognition

Seven graduating seniors were recognized by Kendall Harris, Senior Director of the Lightner Y Achievers Program. The teens have a collective GPA of 3.56 and have participated in the program since middle school. The students were presented with a special cord to wear with their gown at graduation. 

"I have no doubt, this group of young men and women will excel, and I hope one day they will return to this program to invest in the future generations," said Harris.

Volunteer Recogntion

Adult volunteers power the Y Achievers program. These volunteers carry on the legacy of Clarence E. Lightner:

  • Chassidy Hinton, Clarence E. Lightner Y Achievers Volunteer of the Year.
  • Everett Christmas, Clarence E. Lightner Y Achievers Leadership Award.

About Lightner Y Achievers

The Clarence E. Lightner Y Achievers program helps minority teens in grades 6 – 12 succeed in middle school, high school, college and beyond. The program is named for Clarence E. Lightner, the first and, to date, only African-American to serve as Raleigh’s mayor. Lightner was a visionary leader who was respected by the entire community. Today, more than 100 middle and high school students from across the Triangle participate in the Lightner Y Achievers program and learn the importance of civic participation, college readiness and community service.