Tag Archives: YMCA

The YMCA – Dedicated to Closing the Achievement Gap

Charles Besser serves as the president and chief executive officer of Intersport, Inc. Outside of his responsibilities with the company, Charles Besser is dedicated to giving back to the Chicago community. To this end, Charlie Besser sits on the boards of directors of multiple organizations, including the YMCA of Metro Chicago. YMCA organizations around the country have made a tremendous impact on the lives of countless children. The organization believes that all children have endless potential and seeks to provide them with the tools they need to recognize this potential in themselves.

Research has revealed an achievement gap in the United States, as children from low-income and underserved backgrounds begin kindergarten at a disadvantage and slowly fall further and further behind. To close the gap, YMCA organizations have teamed with students, schools, and caregivers around the country to pilot various programs aimed at increasing school readiness. These programs, which pull directly from research recommendations, also focus on physical and emotional development.

Historically, the YMCA has launched a number of influential programs, including Teen Achievers, Leaders Clubs, and Youth and Government, each of which targets a specific at-risk group or provides opportunities for direct community involvement.