We develop the next generation of leaders at the Y! Last year, Zach Hinton was featured in this article by Stacy Chandler in the News & Observer's Thumbs Up section. The Clarence E. Lightner YMCA Achievers Program is a leadership development program for area middle and high school teens.
Zachary Hinton graduated from Southeast Raleigh High School last year with a number of academic scholarships and big dreams. He credits the Lightner Y Achievers program.
During his four years in the local Lightner YMCA Achievers Program, Zach met community leaders, traveled to regional colleges and polished his interview skills.
"It's a program that tries to help a minority kid to make it in the global arena," he explained. "I thought that was really cool, to see someone that looks like me and they were doing well in society," Zach said.
Along the way, he also learned a thing or two about leadership while serving as the chapter's president. Zach was selected for a national YMCA Five-Star Ambassador Award, which came with a $10,000 scholarship.
Zach just finished his freshman year at Hampton University in Virginia. He sent one of his Lightner Y Achievers advisors this update.
“I just wanted to update you on a few of the activities I've been doing here at Hampton University,” wrote Zach.
“I earned a 4.03 GPA which allows me to be a part of the Hampton University Honors College. I just received acceptance for an internship in robotics at Rice University in Texas. The internship is all expenses paid, and I will receive a stipend at the end. So, I am basically living the life!
I would like to thank you not only for the scholarships (that have helped me greatly), but also for continuing the Y Achievers program. I really appreciate what all of the Y Achievers volunteers have done for me. I am very excited another student can also fulfill their dreams through this program.”
In 2010, the YMCA of Triangle Y Achievers Program and the Clarence E. Lightner Youth Leadership Foundation joined forces. The Lightner Foundation was founded to pay tribute to the life of Clarence E. Lightner, the first African-American mayor of Raleigh. In continuing his positive community efforts, the Clarence E. Lightner Leadership Endowment Fund was established to provide leadership development programs aimed at making a positive impact on youth throughout the Triangle region.