Reach and Rise™

The Reach and Rise™ Mentoring Program is a national YMCA program that is committed to youth development by nurturing the potential of kids and teens to help them achieve and reach their full potential.

What is the  Reach & Rise™ mentoring program?

The program is designed for youth who would benefit from a positive relationship with a supportive, caring adult. Research shows that youth are FIVE times more likely to graduate and 50% less likely to use drugs if they have a meaningful relationship with an adult. The Reach and Rise™ Mentoring Program connects these children with adult mentors for 12-18 months. As part of program implementation, the Y will recruit and train adult volunteer mentors to provide direct mentoring services and create safe, healthy and meaningful relationships with youth. Mentors and mentees will participate in service projects, field trips and other engaging activities. 

What are the benefits for local youth?

The Reach and Rise™ Mentoring Program was founded in 1992 at the YMCA of San Francisco, and later piloted by five more YMCA locations in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Nashville, Phoenix, and Oakland. At these sites, Reach & Rise has been shown, through evaluation results, to help youth better express their feelings, increase school grades, expect more from themselves, get along better with others, and become more involved in enrichment programs and after-school activities. As part of a national expansion beginning in 2013, the Hot Springs Family YMCA is one of 40 Y's now offering the program. 

Who are the Reach & Rise Program Mentors?

Mentors are volunteers ages 21+, with varied cultural, educational, and professional backgrounds, who wish to make a positive impact on the self-esteem of young people in Garland County. Mentors commit to spending time weekly in the program. The Y is committed to ensuring a safe and caring environment for its youth and will conduct face-to-face screenings, a fingerprint background check as well as provide 15+ hours of paraprofessional counseling training over several weeks before matching a mentor.


Whom does the program serve?

The Reach & Rise Mentoring Program serves young people in Garland County experiencing problems, such as low self-esteem, poor academic progress, peer difficulties, family conflict, and/or poor decision making. Youth in our program come from a wide range of ethnic, socioeconomic, and family backgrounds.

Young people are referred to the program in a number of ways:


  • From school counselors, teachers and principals.

  • From community agencies such as social welfare and counseling agencies.

  • From YMCA programs.

  • From YMCA community, friends, family, and/or self-referrals.


1:1 Mentoring

The traditional 1:1 mentoring version of Reach & Rise™ serves youth ages 9 to 17, matching a single mentor with a single child. The pair meets once per week for 1 to 3 hours, engaging in enriching and fun activities both at the YMCA and off-site. Every other month, Reach & Rise™ also facilitates a group meet up available to all mentors and mentees participating in the 1:1 program. For more information, contact Elan McAfee



Apply to be a mentor or give a youth referral ONLINE by clicking the appropriate link below: 

1:1 Mentor Application


Youth Referral 

Or Download PDF

Complete Mentor Application  •  Mentee Referral Form