A branch of the YMCA of Silicon Valley

Education & Leadership

The YMCA cares about teens, cultivates teen leaders and 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, internships and fun, recreational events.

Our teen programs include:

->After-School Teen Center

Teen Center @ Lincoln Elementary
Hours vary by site
Call 408-351-2421 for more information

Teens can come Afterschool to study, play sports, participate in enrichment activities, such as cooking, arts, music, and service projects, or just relax and hang out. Teens can meet new friends and have fun. In addition, the YMCA provides teens an opportunity to learn leadership skills and get involved in a series of volunteer and fundraising projects.

->Non-School Days Camps

Make the most of your youth’s school breaks with our Non-School Days and Holiday camps. Learn more about programs we offer for Middle school students: 408-257-7160.

->Leader in Training Program (LIT)

Each summer here at the Northwest YMCA we offer Teen Leadership Camps as part of our Summer Day Camp Program. Teen Leadership Camps are specifically designed for our future leaders. The program operates in three phases:

Leadership I (Phase I)
This phase is for the first time leader. During the week teens will develop basic leadership skills; enjoy team building activities; receive training in behavior and risk management, supervision, and water safety; observe camp staff; and learn camp songs.

Leadership II (Phase II)
Our 2nd phase dives deeper into more advanced leadership skills, team building, YMCA history and mission, character and asset development, diversity issues, inclusion and self-evaluation.

Leadership III (Phase III)
This Camp provides a unique opportunity for teens to become leaders through a series of classes covering leadership techniques, risk management, working with youth and team building. In this camp teens take part in ropes courses, which will teach participants about their own personal growth and team building.

Leader In Training Field trip
and Capture Y-Camp

Leader-In-Training fieldwork enables teens to put the leadership skills learned in the first three phases of training to the test. Teens are placed into camps with trained YMCA Staff. They assist directors, help lead games, lead arts and crafts and sing camp songs. Leader In Training also lead a group activity with their campers and are evaluated by staff at the end of the week.


YMCA Youth and Government

These statewide programs promote hands-on learning about democracy and leadership, as well as our core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Get a sense of how powerful this program is for participants as they develop into caring, driven future leaders, from this video.

->Model Legislature & Court

(Grades 9-12)

Delegates spend months gearing up for the week that they “take over” the Capitol. In this mock government program we travel to Camp Roberts twice for our training and elections conferences, and the highlight of this program is our Sacramento trip where we spend five days. Weekly meetings prepare students for this experience.

Model Legislature & Court is designed to:

• Expand awareness of and engagement in our
   legislative process.
• Teach public speaking skills
• Develop leadership skills
• Promote social development and fellowship
  with peers
• Enhance personal growth reflecting the YMCA
  core values of caring, honesty, respect and

Weekly meetings are held on Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30 pm during the months of September-February at the Northwest YMCA.

For additional information, please contact Theodore Evans, at 408-351-2434, or by email at theodore.evans@ymcasv.org.

->Model United Nations

(Grades 6-8)

“It’s Your World!” Come and be a part of this award-winning delegation. Participants take on the roles of Ambassadors of countries to address global issues, write resolutions, discover other cultures and make new friends. This program also includes a training summit at Camp Roberts and the Model United Nations Conference in Los Angeles, California.

Model United Nations is designed to:

  • Expand awareness of, and engagement in global issues
  • Teach public speaking skills
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Promote social development and fellowship with peers
  • Enhance personal growth reflecting the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.

For additional information, please contact Palo Alto Family YMCA at 650-856-9622, or by email at paloaltofamily@ymcasv.org

For more information, contact the Northwest YMCA at 408-257-7160.

Project Cornerstone

Project CornerstoneProject Cornerstone’s vision is simple—to build a web of support around every young person in our community. This web of support includes families, schools, community centers, faith communities and local businesses. Unfortunately, these resources are disconnected from each other and often from children and youth themselves. Project Cornerstone facilitates the connection of the separate parts of the web so that young people can count on individuals and organizations working together to provide them with consistent support and guidance.

Project Cornerstone promotes the research-based developmental assets approach as a guiding framework and a common language to enable individuals and organizations to work together toward our common goal of supporting the healthy development of all children and youth. We leverage partnerships to influence public policy, programs and personal behavior. Project Cornerstone provides training and consultation and shares resources and best practice models to build the capacity of children’s and youth program providers, schools, governments, foundations, businesses, faith communities, and other community groups to support young people and strengthen our community.

Most people think of assets in terms of property or financial resources. However, Developmental Assets are the positive relationships, opportunities, values and skills that young people need to grow up caring and responsible.

The Search Institute identified the 40 developmental assets as the essential building blocks of healthy child and youth development - including adult role models, positive peer influence, caring school climates and a sense that community values youth. With input from diverse community members, Project Cornerstone has added a 41st asset “positive cultural identity" to the framework we use.

Project Cornerstone was founded in by the Youth Alliance, a collaborative of the following community based organizations: YMCAs of Santa Clara Valley and the Mid Peninsula; YWCA of Santa Clara Valley; Girl Scouts; Boy Scouts; Big Brothers/Big Sisters; Boys & Girls Club; and Estrella Family Services. The YMCA of Santa Clara Valley is Project Cornerstone’s parent organization.

For more information, visit the Project Cornerstone website.

For more information about Developmental Assets please click here.



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