Latino Achievers

Latino Achievers YMCA
YMCA of Middle Tennessee
Academic Level
Community-Based Organization
Issue Area
Support Services
Key Personnel
Program Focus
College Prep


The YMCA Latino Achievers program inspires and empowers Latino students to discover their strengths, shape their futures, and transform the world. Latino Achievers program uses evidence-based strategies to increase high school graduation, college application, and enrollment rates for Latino youth. 

They serve Latino high school students (ages 14-21) in seven public schools in Nashville’s metro schools. The Latino Achievers program serves schools that have two to seven times more Latino youth than the state average of 9.0%, lower than average high school graduation rates, have lower than average ACT scores, and will graduate mostly first-generation college students.

Program Description

Latino Achievers was adopted by the YMCA of Middle Tennessee in 2002 to address low high school graduation rates and college matriculation rates of Latino students. Since then, the program has grown to serve seven schools, with students from 18 area high schools attending workshops and field trips. 

Latino Achievers seeks to close the achievement gap for Latino students by using evidence-based practices to increase college application and enrollment rates for Latino students. These include:

  1. Increasing exposure to college through tours and fairs
  2. Building skills including ACT preparation and financial aid planning
  3. Encouraging mentorship and providing individualized counseling
  4. Introducing  professions through the world of work tours
  5. After-school programming using a college readiness curriculum with a culturally responsive emphasis. 

Latino Achievers invites local Latino professionals to inspire and empower their students by sharing their experiences of being Latino in college and professional settings, both as guest speakers and in one-on-one meetings with students during their annual power lunch. 

In addition to continued participation with the program, students are encouraged to meet regularly with staff to receive additional support in their college application process. Latino Achievers also offers scholarships for their students, especially those who are ineligible for financial aid due to their residency status.


  • Increased high school graduation rate: For the 2017- 2018 academic year the graduation rate for the 51 active Latinx students was 100% compared to the district average of 74% and the national average of 79%. In addition, for the 2010-2011 academic year, 93% of participants graduated high school.
  • Increased college enrollment: Of the 2017-2018 graduates, 98% enrolled in college compared to 38% for the 2010-2011 graduates.

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