To further enhance the active role it plays in bringing innovative educational programs to Milwaukee, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee (the Y) is hosted an educational forum featuring University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Chancellor Michael Lovell on June 13, 2012. Chancellor Lovell, along with students and alumni of the Y’s educational programs will serve as panelists and will discuss the educational landscape of Milwaukee as well as ways to further expand the opportunities youth have for learning.

“The Y’s education programs continue to be at the center of our commitment to Milwaukee’s youth and the city’s future,” said Bob Venable, board chair for the Y. “Chancellor Lovell has demonstrated strong support of education in the city during his time at UWM, and we value the expertise he has to offer as we look to increase the strength and impact of the Y’s programs.”

For more than 150 years, the Y has been focused on education in Milwaukee. On average the Y spends more than $13 million on a host of education-focused programs that serve approximately 5,000 youth around the community each year. Those programs, including Early Childhood Education, Before/After School Care, Summer Day Camp, the YMCA Young Leaders Academy (YLA), the Y Emerging Leaders Program, Sponsor-A-Scholar and Black Achievers, have proven extremely successful.

For example, the Black Achievers program, a national academic achievement and career development program for African American high school students, boasted a graduation rate of 100 percent last year, and 98 percent of those students were accepted to a two-or four-year college. Students in the Y’s mentoring and college readiness program, Sponsor-A-Scholar, achieve a high school graduation rate of 99 percent and 96 percent enroll in a post-secondary education institution. Additionally, students in YLA – the Y’s K-8 Charter School – outpace their peers in Milwaukee and statewide in both reading and math.

“Education is a critical issue for the Milwaukee community,” said UWM Chancellor Mike Lovell. “We can achieve success for the city by working together to offer our young people the tools they need to succeed, and by leveraging innovative education programs that exemplify the tremendous value of community collaborations.”

According to Venable, the Y relies greatly on community support for the success of its educational programs. In fact, YLA was founded in 2002 by two community activists and remains successful today because ongoing public support. Additionally, both Black Achievers and Sponsor-A-Scholar are dependent on adult mentors throughout the community who are committed to helping Milwaukee’s youth succeed.

The educational forum will be held at the Y’s Young Leaders Academy (1350 W. North Ave.) for business and community leaders interested in hearing how the Y is playing an active role in finding solutions to Milwaukee’s education issues.

For more information on any of the Y’s educational programs, please visit

About the Y
The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee is a powerful association of men, women and children of all ages and from all walks of life joined together by a shared passion to strengthen the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Since 1858, Milwaukee YMCAs have helped kids and families live healthy lives in spirit, mind and body. Supported in part through contributions to the Annual Campaign, the Y provides membership assistance and scholarships to programs like summer camp, child care and teen activities, so that no one is turned away due to an inability to pay.

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