YMCA Boys and Young Men of Color Strategy

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.

Ensuring Equitable Outcomes

The BYMOC Strategy ensures equitable outcomes for boys and young men of color ages 11-17 by removing systemic barriers, providing relevant services and support systems and creating nurturing environments that promote confidence and growth.

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


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.


The BYMOC Strategy is designed for flexible implementation through policies, practices, and programs that can be defined by the needs of each community and Y, including the following areas.


  • Impact their attitudes toward education
  • Empower them to believe in their capabilities
  • Prepare them with the skills to achieve academic success

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

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

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

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

Boys and Young Men of Color Strategy Goals

By 2024, 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.


Have additional questions? Need more information? Not sure where to start? Click below to get in touch with our friendly, knowledgeable staff. We’ll be happy to help!