On May 16, 2022, 25 high school seniors celebrated an exciting milestone — graduating from the Y-Scholars Program at the YMCA of the East Bay Teen Center!
“We’re so excited to welcome families and friends to celebrate our Y-Scholars with an in-person graduation after not being able to celebrate the last two years. These students have worked so hard the last 2 years during the pandemic by having to pivot to remote learning and adapt back to in-person instruction. The Y-Scholars have been patient, resilient, and focused to ensure their success. I’m so proud of each and every student,” said Audi Huang, Executive Director of the Teen Center.
Every Y-Scholars Program graduate will enter college this fall, proving 100% college going rate from this program. This year, we had Y-Scholars graduates attending community and 4-year colleges like Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, San Francisco State University, and Sacramento State University.
Estrella Tajtaj-Ponce, a Y-Scholar student, applied to four colleges was accepted to all. “If they had told me that I got into even just one of the colleges, I wouldn’t have believed it. I went through a rough patch. Being a part of the Y-Scholars program has guided me along the college process and for that, I’m grateful,” said Estrella.
Since its inception, over 600 graduates of this program have gone on to pursue a post-secondary college education. Y-Scholars Program operates as a four-year college readiness program, expanded to focus on first-generation college seeking students. This program blends individual life coaching, weekly college exploration workshops, daily afterschool academic support, personal college advising, SAT preparation, and family guidance in establishing a comprehensive college success plan. In order to increase access for participants and families, this program is free of cost for all qualified students. This has been made possible by donors and foundations supporting this program. Click here to learn more on how to give to the program!