YMCA of Greater Louisville

Chestnut Street Family YMCA

930 West Chestnut Street, Louisville, KY 40203 502 587 7405
  • Monday — Sunday 5 AM - 10 PM


At the YMCA, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to discover who they are and all that they can achieve. YMCA Black Achievers is an intentional effort to create equity in education as well as the workplace by motivating African American/Black and other minority youth to develop and pursue high educational and career goals. In 2021, our graduating seniors received over $1 million dollars in scholarship awards collectively.



Program Orientation will be held on August 14, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Sessions are held monthly from 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays scheduled during the school year August-April

Senior Sessions are held monthly July-March

View our YMCA Youth Achievers Program for more information about programming for youth in grades K-8.


YMCA Black Achievers: $85
YMCA Youth Achievers: $65

Financial assistance is available to assist with program fee. Some participants may be eligible to have their full program fee waived through designated grants funding. Complete the application (PDF) and program registration form and return to the Black Achievers office.

Please contact DeVonne Sorel at 502.587.7405 or at dsorel@ymcalouisville.org for more information.


Through YMCA Black Achievers, youth gain a sense of self, raise their academic standards, build character, develop cultural competence skills, gain exposure to diverse career opportunities, receive mentorship from caring adult-role models from diverse career fields, engage in community service opportunities, and receive hands-on service learning and field experiences. YMCA Black Achievers participate in an education-based mentoring program designed to holistically develop youth in grades 9–12 to their fullest potential.

We offer leadership training seminars, college enrichment, community service projects and special events that include:

  • ACT/SAT Workshops
  • College Tours
  • Scholarships
  • College & Career Fair
  • Company Work Site Tours
  • Community Service Projects
  • Kwanzaa Celebration
  • Annual Awards Banquet


A key benefit of YMCA Black Achievers is the relationship formed between adult achievers and teen achievers during career cluster workshops.

YMCA Black Achievers provides students with hands-on learning and enrichment opportunities in various professional areas. Youth gain resource tools and professional road map strategies to navigate towards opportunities for success in their career areas of interest. Cluster groups are led by professional adult volunteer mentors in the following cluster areas:

  • Arts
  • Business & Communications
  • Computer & Technology
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health & Medical
  • Law & Government
  • Vocational & Trade


We serve teens in grades 9-12. No scholastic requirement to enroll.


Volunteers are a crucial part of our programs – mentoring and guiding our students to become who they are destined to be. Interested in volunteering? View our volunteer opportunities (PDF) and complete a volunteer application (PDF) and send to DeVonne Sorel at dsorel@ymcalouisville.org.


If you are an alumni of our Black Achievers Program, please take a moment and provide your contact information. Please enter your information below so that we can connect with you.

Black Achievers Alumni

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YMCA Black Achievers was founded in 1971 by members of the New York Harlem YMCA. Since the program’s successful inauguration, it has been established in 135 sites throughout the U. S. One of the largest is located at the Chestnut Street Family YMCA.

Since 1979, the YMCA Black Achievers at the Chestnut Street Family YMCA has encouraged and inspired youth to pursue their educational and career goals. Walter Barnes was the Executive Director of the Chestnut Street Family YMCA when the program began in Louisville. He, along with other visionary leaders, sought to prepare young men and women for the global workplace. Since its founding locally, thousands of adult achievers have served as mentors and role models and through significant corporate and community support has provided millions of dollars in scholarship support for students to pursue their education.
Our Mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.