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Lightner Y Achievers

Excelling through Access, Exposure and Opportunity

Lightner Y Achievers is truly an experience everyone should soak up. It's a program that helps teens understand and learn who they are at critical times in their lives. 

The best part of the program? It's a safe haven, a blessing and at the end, teens feel good about who they and everything they can accomplish in life.


Register For Y Achievers

The Clarence E. Lightner YMCA Achievers program introduces teens in grades 6 - 12 to adults of color who guide them through experiences that prepare them for life after high school. Through civic engagement, community service projects, and academic enhancement programs, students make new friends, learn healthy lifestyle choices and prepare for their future.

Teens attend meetings where they are divided into small age-appropriate groups called clusters and are exposed to a variety of education and career options. Lightner Y Achievers also take part in volunteer opportunities and group outings. During our spring break college tour, high school students visit area universities and learn more about higher education options. 


  • Provide role models whose success and knowledge will inspire youth to set and reach their goals
  • Help youth develop individual talents, a positive sense of self and leadership ability
  • Motivate participants to raise academic performance, succeed in school and gain marketable skills.


  • Clarence E. Lightner YMCA Achievers Banquet
  • NCYAG Conference
  • Annual College Tour
  • End-of-Year Celebration


Y Achievers can participate in a STEM FIRST robotics program for grades 6 - 12. The program encourages kids to learn robotics through kits and Legos. Grade-based teams form to design, build and test their robots during the year. Competitions are held and participants may have the opportunity to travel to other competitions. 

Annual College Tour

Spring 2023 Lightner Y Achievers College Tour

The Spring College Tour will be held April 2 - 7 in Atlanta, Georgia. During this time, the group will be visiting 5 Colleges and Universities. The tour will focus on learning about each college and allowing students to meet staff, learn more about schools and gather information for post-graduation decisions. 

Colleges on the tour include:
• Clark Atlanta University
• Morehouse College
• Spelman College
• Emory University
• Georgia State University

Tour Dates: April 1 - 7, 2023
Fee: $850 per Y Acheiver

Register Today

Program Summit Information

Program Summits are held from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the YMCA Association Resource Center at 801 Corporate Center Drive, Raleigh unless otherwise noted 

Program Summit Dates

October 22: Summit 3
Nov 5: Summit 4
Nov. 19: Summit 5
Dec 3: Summit 6
Dec. 17: Summit  7
Jan. 7: Summit 8
Jan. 21: Summit 9
Feb. 4: Summit 10
Feb. 18: Summit 11
Mar. 4: Summit 12
Mar. 18: Summit 13
April 1 - 7: Annual College Tour
April 15: Summit 14
May 6: Summit 15
May 20: End of Year Celebration


Want to keep up with everything we're doing and learn about volunteer opportunities? Visit the link below to stay in contact with us!

Connect with Lightner Y Achievers


Adult Achievers are key to the program's success and growth. These volunteers serve 12 hours per month as committee members, cluster leaders and/ or role models.  Find volunteer opportunities.


The Lightner Y Achievers program is funded through the YMCA's Annual We Build Campaign. Please consider a donation.


For more information about Lightner Y Achieves, contact Jasmine Gilchrist, Program Director or call 919-719-9622.