“Youth Institute helps us become new, skilled people—people we are proud of." 

2018 Youth Institute Participant

This is just one of the many positive sentiments shared by teens in the Whatcom Family YMCA’s college-and career-readiness program, Youth Institute.

Having been established and operated successfully for 20 years at the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, CA, Youth Institute is now spreading across the country, including teens in our own Whatcom County community. Youth Institute will create a brighter future for underserved, culturally-diverse, high school youth- teens who need us most.

The goals of the Youth Institute are:

  1. To improve academic achievement and stimulate interest in post secondary education among youth.
  2. To improve the technology, career, leadership and decision-making skills of these youth to promote readiness for post secondary education or career entry after graduation.
  3. To promote bonding to prosocial adults and community attachment among urban youth to ensure that they remain engaged in their schools and communities.
  4. To develop social and emotional skills in youth through multiple group and individual learning experiences.



2022 - 2023 School Year

Youth Institute strives to stay connected with program alumni throughout the year to continue cultivating positive and healthy peer and adult relationships as well as continuing to help connect participants to resources and opportunities in Whatcom County. For 2022-2023 School year we will have opportunities once a month for YI Alumni to share a fun adventure. 

When: 1x a month starting in October 
Saturday - Exact times will very (2-4 hour events) 
Who: YI Alumni + 1 friend 
Where: Meet at Downtown Y 
Cost: FREE

What To Expect: 
These are connections for YI Alumni with the intention of keeping us connected throughout the school year. YI Alumni are welcome to invite one friend to join each time. Friends that might be a good fit for Summer YI are highly encouraged!
RSVP will be required to participate so we can plan transportation accordingly
Transportation assistance is available upon request
Fun activities such as hikes, bowling, skating, ice-skating and other activities and adventures.

Summer 2023

Enrollment for summer Youth Institute starts in March 2023! Check back for more information!

Thank You to our generous sponsors



Thank You to our generous sponsors

Thank You to our generous sponsors

Thank You to our generous sponsors