Miles Evans says the YMCA Black Achievers program changed his life. During seventh grade, his father proposed the idea of participating in the Black Achievers program, which runs year-round, every Saturday. “To be quite honest, it did not sound very appealing to wake up every Saturday morning when I could have been sleeping in, but I took my chances and attended with my older brother, Malcolm. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made,” said Miles.
Being a part of the program introduced Miles to a wide range of resources and a community of supportive mentors. Because of Black Achievers, Miles has grown to be a more successful leader, mentor, student, friend, and son. What keeps him coming back every Saturday are his fellow students and the Y’s commitment to community volunteerism. As the President of Black Achievers, Miles stresses to his peers that success should not be based on your race, gender, background, or surroundings, but rather the effort you put into helping others and making a difference. “We live in a society focused so heavily on success that we forget to give back, but there is no success without volunteer leadership. If you cannot give back to the community that supports you through your trials and tribulations, you have not reached success.”