Youth Development

The prevalence of risky behaviors can have a negative impact on a young person’s ability to grow and develop into a healthy, productive adult. Research shows that when young people achieve academic success, have significant relationships with caring adults, and are involved in community service and extracurricular activities they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. YWCA’s Healthy Youth Development program provides a positive impact on young people’s ability to improve their self-expectation and resilience.

Youth Development Programs

The YWCA’s Healthy Youth Development programming addresses the needs of youth from low to moderate-income families, many of whom are in some form of transition. YWCA provides more than 70 hours of recreation, physical activity, and wellness programs each week.

Leadership Development

Middle and High School-Age youth have opportunities to volunteer or participate in internships that help to prepare them for future employment. Youth may serve one to ten hours per week supporting staff, assisting with programs and events, and other activities as needed.

Youth Enrichment Center

Our Youth Enrichment Center is a welcoming place for youth of all ages to get homework help, social interaction, games, arts and crafts, drama and more. We offer Youth Way-to-Go, a drop-in after-school enrichment program, and Snow Squad, a drop-in program for school snow days.

Youth Gym and Fitness Programs

Physical activity for at least 60 minutes per day is recommended for youth health. Youth programs include fitness, sports and more, and help youth to develop and maintain health in a fun, social and supportive environment.

Youth fitness plans are available for children ages 6-17. For $20 per month (or $228 if paid annually in full), youth members have access to youth drop-in fitness classes and other age-appropriate drop-in pool and fitness activities, access to the strength and cardio center, and access to the basketball gym (during open gym times). Youth fitness members can also attend Youth Way-to-Go, our after-school enrichment program, at any time at no extra charge.

Girl Scout Sessions

YWCA Central Massachusetts is committed to empowering and encouraging the healthy development of girls and women. this programs features a combination of Fitness, Aquatics, STEAM and social programs tailored to Girl Scouts and Girl Scout troops.

HOPE Coalition

A coalition of about 50 high-school youth 14 years and up meeting once a week for two hours with additional community service and program leadership initiatives throughout the city and state each week.