YMCA Partners to Help Boys of Color Graduate

YMCA's Boys and Young Men of Color (BYMOC) announced a partnership with Old Spice's School of Swagger to help boys of color graduate high school via mentorship and career planning. This partnership will enable the nationwide expansion of YMCA's BYMOC Gradify program, which equips students with tools to build actionable college/career plans and mentor connections.

Recent national data reveals that 80% of students who establish a career goal by the ninth grade successfully graduate high school.* Recognizing the critical importance of career aspirations, the Y piloted its program in 2023. Within just one year, 90% of the enrolled students actively utilize the app, established a college or career plan, and is demonstrating early signs of being on track to graduate high school on time. Currently, the program has 750 BYMOC students from 30 cities participating, and this partnership will enable the program to reach over 7,200 students and 70 cities next year.

"The Y's BYMOC strategy brings contemporary focus and practice to our historical support of boys and young men of color," said Suzanne McCormick, President and CEO of Y-USA. "We're thrilled to partner with Old Spice, which shares our commitment to removing barriers and closing gaps to ensure boys and young men of color have the opportunity to reach their full potential."

Kate DiCarlo, Communications Senior Director, Old Spice North America, added, "Since 2020, Old Spice has been on a journey to increase high graduation rates among underrepresented youth. Through partnerships with organizations like the Y, we can provide students with hands-on support and resources, empowering them to achieve their educational goals and create a brighter future for themselves and our community."

This partnership is a part of a broader partnership with Procter & Gamble (P&G), the parent company of Old Spice. P&G has been a long-standing supporter and advocate of the Y's BYMOC strategy, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to uplifting diverse communities, including boys of color.

*Data from the National Center for Education Statistics, Public High School Graduation Rate.