All kids have great potential. At the Y, we help them set and achieve their personal and educational goals. They gain confidence as they recognize the Y as a place where they belong and can feel comfortable exploring new interests and passions. Through leadership and academic enrichment programs such as mentoring, youth government and college preparation, we make sure that every child has an opportunity to envision a positive future, and to take an active role in strengthening the community.


Career awareness and mentoring programming for area Freshmen and Sophomores. The program includes weekly leadership meetings, recreational activities, volunteer opportunities, and college tours.
Program Objectives
  • Exposure to a wide range of career opportunities
  • Develop career goals
  • Instill self-esteem, self-respect, and social moral character
  • Provide role models from diverse backgrounds
  • Enhance leadership and life skills

For more information, contact:
Tamica Fricks, Program Coordinator

RAISE (Reaching and Inspiring Students for Education)

The RAISE program is a unique one-to-one mentoring program, which aims to increase access to and success in post secondary education for first generation college students. Area Juniors and Seniors are matched with a carefully screened adult volunteer to mentor and assist students. They focus on the post-secondary application process and the opportunities a higher level of education can provide. The volunteers meet with students twice a month and then communicate through the following semesters in college.
For more information contact:
Tamica Fricks, Program Coordinator, 779-774-4430

Elevate GED

Elevate is a free high school (GED) program, offered in partnership with Rock Valley College, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois, and The Work Force Connection, for young adults ages 17 – 24. The program includes academic tutoring, career readiness, life skills training and paid work experiences. Benefits for participants include a free YMCA membership and free child care while attending on-site classes.
The program is funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
For more information, contact:
Tiffany Currier, Program Coordinator

ACT Academy

By participating in our ACT Academy, each student receives personalized instruction based on his or her strengths and weaknesses and learns indispensable strategies to be confident and prepared to take the ACT.
Individualized to meet each student's needs, personalized sessions are designed in each of the 5 tested disciplines: English, Math, Reading, Science, and Writing. Students will review important skills and key strategies that lead them to the right answer choice with top-notch tutors to encourage them to do their best.

To register, call the Youth Achievement YMCA at 815-489-1194.

Y Learning: K-12 Tutoring

At the Youth Achievement YMCA, learning doesn’t stop in the classroom. That's why we offer one-on-one tutoring, homework support and organization guidance to help students succeed. Tutoring is available for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade.
Benefits of Private Tutoring:
1) Fewer distractions

2) Confidence and self-esteem

3) Enthusiasm

4) Catch-up

5) Help with homework

Call the Youth Achievement YMCA to find out more about the Y Learning tutoring program at 815-489-1194.


Project 505

Project 505 provides free memberships to local teens in exchange for their commitment to volunteer four hours a month at an organization of their choosing. We inspire and develop teens into maturity and motivate them to give back to their community. Project 505 provides a place to belong, purpose and mentorship.

Learn More