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Education & Leadership

The YMCA cares about teens. The YMCA cultivates teen leaders. The YMCA creates opportunities for teens to contribute to their communities.

Y teen programs partner with families, schools, businesses, and the entire community to help provide brighter futures for young people. Our YMCA gives teens a safe place to call their own and a chance to connect with positive role models and adults who care about them. Teen programs include youth development activities, leadership groups, community service projects, exposure to diverse career options, after-school activities, tutoring and mentoring, sports, camping, strength-training, and fun, recreational events.

YMCA Youth & Government
YMCA Youth in Government is a national program of the Y that involves thousands of teens nationwide in state-organized, model-government programs. Students from every corner of the U.S. have the opportunity to immerse themselves in experiential civic engagement and to, quite literally, practice democracy. Teens from across every state meet in their local Youth in Government groups throughout the year to discuss and debate issues that affect citizens of their state and to propose legislation. The program culminates with teens serving as delegates at their state conference, debating bills on the floor of the legislature.

Teen Centers
Teen Centers provide a safe and fun place for teens Afterschool. Our Teen Center coordinators and volunteers provide teens guidance in participating in a variety of programs offered at the YMCA. Teen Centers include a place for studying and homework help, as well as fun recreational activities and opportunities to socialize with other teens Afterschool and during special evening and weekend events.

Education & Leadership programs vary by location. For details, contact the YMCA nearest you.

Camarillo Family YMCA
Lompoc Family YMCA
Montecito Family YMCA
Santa Barbara Family YMCA
Stuart C. Gildred YMCA
Ventura Family YMCA

Counselor in Training (CIT) and Leader in Training (LIT) Teen Leadership Programs at Camp
The camp environment provides a unique opportunity for youth to build leadership skills, particularly in assisting counselors with younger campers. The goals of CIT and LIT camp programs are to teach the general skills of leadership that can be used at school, home and community (not just at camp.) For younger camp leaders (ages 13-15), the curriculum includes working with younger kids at camp, but often includes community components like volunteering at senior centers or YMCAs. Counselors-in-Training or "CITs" are the oldest campers who typically want to apply for a job at camp the next summer, maybe as a Jr Counselor or some other supporting role.  They need to learn more specific skills for working with kids and co-workers, and more experience planning and leading activities.  Both programs give kids age-appropriate challenges that build their skills, confidence and capacity for working with people of all ages

YOUTH & FAMILY SERVICES YMCA
The Youth and Family Services branch of the Channel Islands YMCA is dedicated to offering social services to the youth and families of Santa Barbara and its immediate surrounding areas.

YFS Programs include:

Isla Vista Teen Center serves as a drop-in center for young people, away from gang activities, alcohol and drugs providing quality after school programs.

My Home at Artisan Court provides transitional housing to youth ages 18-21 that age out of foster care facing homelessness.

Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter, an eight-bed licensed group home, providing temporary shelter for foster children, runaway and homeless youth, and young people in crisis ages 10-17.

Support and Outreach Services reaches out to youth living on the streets of our community, offering basic needs assistance, counseling, case management, and referral services as well as assistance with housing information, job search and life skills.

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