33rd Annual YMCA Black Achievers Awards Banquet Announced


YMCA to honor teens pursuing higher education at 33rd Annual Black Achievers Program Awards Banquet on May 12

The YMCA of Central Kentucky’s Black Achievers Program will honor local high school teens and adult volunteers at its 33rd annual Program Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 12 beginning at noon at the Embassy Suites of Lexington. Mr. Keith Jackson, former Chief of the Lexington Fire Department, will be the keynote speaker.

The YMCA Black Achievers Program is a college and career readiness program for students in grades 6-12. The program provides youth of color with educational development and career exploration workshops and activities including college tours, workshops on ACT/SAT preparation, interviewing techniques, financial management, study skills/time management, team building and more. Participants develop relationships, build character and interact with professionals who serve as role models to inspire them to pursue their dreams.

“Approximately 90 percent of students who complete the program go on to receive a postsecondary education, many of whom attend colleges right here in Kentucky,” said Jessica Berry vice president of youth development for the YMCA of Central Kentucky. “We’re proud of our Achievers and grateful to our generous sponsors and volunteers. Together, we are making a positive impact on the lives of our youth and future leaders.” 

Myiah Clemons, a sophomore at Montgomery County High School has been involved in the YMCA of Central Kentucky Black Achievers Program since the seventh grade. She is one of 60 students recently accepted into Morehead State University’s Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics.  Clemons will begin the academy this Fall and is one of the many YMCA Black Achievers who will be recognized at the banquet.  

This year’s program consist of 240 students from 10 Kentucky counties. Since the program began in 1985, it has assisted youth with over $11 million dollars in awarded scholarships and engaged over 500 adult volunteers through a network of corporate and community partners.

The Black Achievers Program is supported by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Windstream®, Central Bank, UK Federal Credit Union and LG&E KU Energy.

Tickets for the banquet are $50 per person or $500 for a table of 10. To purchase tickets, visit www.blackachieversceremony.eventbrite.com. To learn more about the YMCA of Central Kentucky Black Achievers Program and how you can get involved as a participant, volunteer or sponsor, please contact Sharonda Steele at 859-367-7377 or [email protected].

About the YMCA of Central Kentucky

The YMCA of Central Kentucky has been serving Lexington and the surrounding area since 1853. The YMCA is for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility and provides programs that support the healthy development of people of all ages. Through the generous contributions of our donors, the YMCA of Central Kentucky provides financial assistance that enables all members of the community to enjoy YMCA programs, regardless of income. The YMCA of Central Kentucky operates four full service facilities in Lexington, as well as program offices in Jessamine County and Scott County.