The YMCA Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC) strategy builds on, and invests in, pathways to success to help boys and young men of color reach their full potential.



Why We Focus on Boys and Young Men of Color

  • They are twice as likely to grow up in poverty
  • They are more likely to live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty
  • They are more likely to fall into poverty as adults, regardless of background

Learn about the Y's history of investing in boys and young men of color.



Changing the Narrative

Through the Boys and Young Men of Color strategy, Ys are providing safe spaces for young leaders to express themselves, nurture their unique identities, and learn important life skills from caring adults. Hear firsthand from participants and practitioners about the impact of this work.




  • Impact their attitudes toward education
  • Empower them to believe in their capabilities
  • Prepare them with the skills to achieve academic success
Group of young men studying
Young teen meeting with counselor for college



College & Career Readiness


  • Create pipelines to connect them with post-secondary education and meaningful jobs.
  • Provide work-based learning experiences, financial education, skills development, career and college planning and resource navigation opportunities.


Character Development


  • Create experiences and environments that strengthen social-emotional competencies
  • Support character development across the Y's core values of honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility
Coach laughing with a basketball player
Boys of Color Basketball


Belonging & Community Building


  • Help them build healthy relationships with peers and adults
  • Foster their positive cultural- and self-identity
  • Support opportunities for community connections and civic engagement



Health & Well-Being


  • Help them develop healthy physical and eating habits
  • Teach them about lifestyle changes that can prevent chronic conditions in adulthood such as diabetes and heart disease
  • Combat their experiences with food insecurity


Boys basketball closeup


The Strategy in Action


Watch firsthand accounts from boys and young men who have participated in programs related to the BYMOC strategy.


Maurice's Story

With high school, family, friends, and extracurricular activities competing for time, being a teenager can be overwhelming. The Boys and Young Men of Color strategy has been implemented to help young men of color work to balance these challenges. Through Maurice's participation, he has been exposed to robotics, mentoring, new friendships, and more. This is his Y. His camera. His story.


Boys and Young Men of  
Color Strategy Goals

By 2025, the BYMOC Strategy seeks to achieve the following outcomes for 10,000 boys and young men of color across 100 cities across the U.S.:

  • 70% of participants will access high-quality, nurturing and more culturally responsive neighborhood environments
  • 75% of participants will have stabilized and improved grades by reducing suspensions and improving school attendance
  • 100% of participants will have completed pre- and post-assessment for social-emotional learning
  • 75% of participants will access high quality post-secondary and career-ready pathways



Strengthening Communities & Individuals


The YMCA welcomes people of diverse backgrounds, ages and abilities to participate in everything we have to offer. Communities are stronger when everyone feels valued.

Supporting Young People

Supporting and inspiring young people to live up to their full potential is a priority of the YMCA. With a focus on meeting social, emotional and academic needs, we offer a wealth of engaging programs for young people.

Supporting Diverse Communities

We bring diverse people together to tackle social issues, creating more cohesive communities and a better-connected society.

Programs for Older Adults

We know that health and well-being are important at every age and life stage, so we provide opportunities for older adults to stay connected and improve their physical and mental health.