Equipping Youth

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Empowering Youth

Summer Explorers is equipping youth for success. It addresses the loss of skills that occurs during summer vacation. Instead of losing ground, Explorers use their summer vacation to maintain and grow reading, math and leadership skills.


According to research, all students risk some summer learning loss. However, students from low resource families face the greatest risk.  More than half of the achievement gap between lower and middle-income youth is connected to unequal access to summer learning opportunities.  On average, low-income students lose more than two months of reading achievement over the summer vacation.  Research supports enrichment is key.


Equipping youth - big tank at the Cleveland AquariumThe YWCA Alliance, in conjunction with its Synergy Alliance partners, operates Summer Explorers. Alliance City School students in grades 2-5 engage in a free, eight-week, data-driven, summer enrichment program. Monday through Thursday children gather on Alliance Middle School’s campus during the afternoon for fun activities.

Three days a week children rotate through hands-on learning stations. Themed units weave reading, math, and leadership into fun activities. Stations include STEM, the arts, character development, as well as community service. On the fourth day, Explorers journey into the world on a field trip. The trip is tied to the theme and designed to deepen the week’s learning.  The district provides free lunch and transportation.

Students spend their summer having fun and engaged in a variety of experiences such as exploring oil spills, accepting building challenges, playing croquet, and visiting the Great Lakes Science Center. Lastly, the program also encourages continued learning through family engagement.  These include family nights, the Family Learning Home Tool Kit, and the distribution of vouchers for family activities.


Fifth graders spend a portion of their day in leadership training with their coach. The remainder of their day is spent practicing what they learned by assisting younger Explorers.

to learn more or for an enrollment packet

Contact the Summer Explorers Site Coordinator at 330-829-1234 ext.1850 to learn more.

This program is funded by the Greater Alliance Foundation and United Way of Greater Stark County.


This joint project of the Quota Club and YWCA is equipping youth for success. It  recognizes area elementary children nominated by their classroom teachers. Children are nominated for the award based on their overall positive and caring attitude such as:

  • Compassion for others
  • Unselfishness
  • Good citizenship
  • Respect for others

Approximately 20-30 medals and certificates are presented each year.  The Annual Sparkle Ceremony and Reception held in April celebrates recipients and their families.  Above all, this program celebrates positive citizenship.

Equipping youth girl wearing safety glassesNavigators is equipping youth for success.  It is a free, afterschool program providing academic and enrichment activities for Alliance youth in grades 6-8. Students may enroll in any of the four sessions.


Synergy Alliance operates the Navigators program. The advisory and supportive collaborative of afterschool providers operate within the city of Alliance.

We provide a unified and comprehensive approach to youth development by braiding together the efforts, resources, and expertise of each partner.  Together, we produce stronger outcomes for youth. Partners include Alliance City Schools, Rodman Public Library, University of Mount Union, Alliance YMCA, and the YWCA Alliance.


The Navigators program, located in Alliance Middle School, operates Monday -Thursday during the school year.   We offer academic and enrichment activities along with family and off-site community activities.  Snacks and transportation are also provided.  Most importantly, students drive the program activities. Students suggest and select classes from a wide array of offerings such as unicycling, anime, robotics, cooking, arts and crafts, swimming, gaming, and dance.

Finally, the Navigators program employs a comprehensive strategic approach to after school.  It eliminates barriers and gaps that prevent students from achieving success.

For more information or for an enrollment packet

Please contact our Navigators Site Coordinator at 330-829-1234 ext.1850.

Partially funded by United Way of Greater Stark County.

Throughout our youth programming, we are equipping youth to takeEquipping youth game - What is one of your goals? the lead. Beginning with the youngest participants, we encourage and support leadership skill building.


Selected former Navigator students in grades 9-12 supplement the Navigator staff. Once a week, the Teens in Action act as role models, class instructors, and extra hands.  They enhance the enrichment experiences of the Navigator participants while taking on a meaningful leadership role and developing foundational skills for employment.


A more extensive role is available for selected youth in grades 6-12 through the Summer Explorers program.  There, teens commit to assisting every day, as well as engaging in staff trainings and orientation.


Call 330-829-1234 ext.1850 to talk to the Navigator Site Coordinator.

Equipping youth - young woman receiving college diplomaSince its inception, the YWCA has worked to equip youth for successful lives. For some young women, that means pursuing a post-secondary education.

YWCA members support the YWCA Memorial Scholarship.  It is awarded annually to a graduating senior girl from the Alliance, Marlington, Sebring, West Branch, or St. Thomas Aquinas school district. Download the YWCA Memorial Scholarship Application or secure one from the YWCA or high school guidance office.

The YWCA Geography Bee Scholarship started as the vision of a YWCA member.  First, she wanted to encourage students to explore the world. Second, she wanted middle school students to see college as a possibility. With a gift from her, the YWCA sponsors a Geo Bee Club and awards college scholarships to qualifying winners of the annual Bee.  To prepare for the Bee, youth in grades 6-8  join the Navigators afterschool Geo Bee Club so that they can prepare to compete in the annual National Geographic competition.