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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. 


The Lightner Y Achievers program is built on 6 Program Pillars

  • Academic Success
  • College & Career Readiness
  • Civic Engagement
  • Leadership Development
  • Racial Equity
  • Healthy Living


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

Key Program Dates

Program Summit Information

Program Summits are held from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at William Peace University - 15 East Peace Street, Raleigh, NC 27604 unless otherwise noted 

September 22 - 24, 2023 - Family Camp Weekend
October 7, 2023 - Academic Success, College & Career Readiness
October 21, 2023 - Academic Success, College & Career Readiness
November 4, 2023 - Civic Engagement
November 18, 2023 - Civic Engagement
December 2, 2023 - Leadership Development
December 16, 2023 - Holiday Special
January 6, 2024 - Leadership Development
January 20, 2024 - Leadership Development
February 3, 2024 - Racial Equity
February 17, 2024 - Racial Equity
March 2, 2024 - Racial Equity
March 16, 2024 - Healthy Living
March 25 - 29, 2024 - Annual College Tour
April 6, 2024 - Healthy Living
April 20, 2024 - Healthy Living
May 4, 2024 - Healthy Living
May 18, 2024 - End of Year Celebration

Pilot Programs

New for the 2023 - 2024 program year, we will be launching two new branch-based Achievers at the Chapel Hill - Carrboro YMCA and Alexander Family YMCA. These clubs will primarily meet locally at their branches, with opportunities throughout the year to also take part in the Saturday Summits at the YMCA corporate offices (transportation provided).

Contact the local directors for additional information about these programs:

Isaiah Foster, Alexander Family YMCA

Mike Brown, Chapel Hill - Carrboro YMCA
Weekly Chapel Hill meetings are scheduled for Thursdays, 6:40 - 8 p.m.

Alexander Achievers Registration

Chapel Hill Achievers Registration

Annual College Tour

The College Tour is March 25 - 29, 2024. During this time, students visit Colleges and Universities in the Southern U.S. The tour focuses 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 will include:

  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • University of Richmond
  • Hampton University
  • Virginia Union University
  • Virginia State University

Fee: $762 per Y Acheiver

Registration for College Tour opens January 17. Register Online Here.


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 Achievers, contact Jasmine Gilchrist, Program Director or call 919-719-9622.