The Y, Metro United Way, Metro Government, Metro Council, JCPS, and community leaders around Louisville are partnering together for the third year of the youth advocacy program Metro Youth Advocates (MYA).  

The goal of Metro Youth Advocates is to create a diverse cohort of young leaders with the knowledge, skills, experience, network, and confidence to spark positive change in their communities.  Secondarily, MYA serves as an instrument for elevating the youth voice across the city and engaging young people more substantively in the issues that impact them.

Over 8 sessions, our youth advocates strengthen their advocacy, public speaking, problem solving, and critical thinking skills through intensive trainings, while engaging meaningfully with public officials, community leaders and youth from across the Louisville Metro Region. Research shows that youth engagement both reduces the likelihood of interpersonal violence and delinquency as well as promotes the development of positive youth competencies and emotional well-being.

Our 2017 Metro Youth Advocates Program engaged 75 youth advocates from across the Louisville Metro area.. These leaders will form the backbone of the next generation of community leaders in Louisville. 

Youth Advocates served in 10 teams, preparing a policy recommendation on a policy topic of their choosing. Topics included:

  • Homelessness awareness and prevention
  • Domestic abuse prevention
  • Affordable and sustainable housing
  • LGBTQIA+ initiatives
  • Community volunteerism
  • Youth safety and support
  • Community arts initiatives
  • Youth civic engagement
  • Environment intiatives
  • Reproductive and sexual health initiatives

Check out the Metro Youth Advocates photo album on Facebook.


For more information, please contact Ime Okpokho with the YMCA of Greater Louisville at

We put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.