Montgomery high school students propose a project at YMCA Changemakers Summit in Washington, D.C.

JUNE 2024 – The YMCA of Greater Montgomery is excited to welcome home local high school students, John Alford from the Montgomery Academy and Yash Param from LAMP, who participated in the 2024 YMCA Changemakers Summit June 12-14 in Washington, D.C.

Alford and Param were two out of 80 students across the country who participated in the event. Now in its third year, the YMCA Changemakers Summit offers rising 9th–12th graders the opportunity to propose a project that addresses a critical issue or need in their communities. Finalists receive $5,000 to implement their project in their community. 

Alford’s and Param’s proposal was for Establishing Youth in Government in Public Schools, a project focused on establishing a Youth In Government (YIG) Club in Montgomery Public Schools, which would provide individuals opportunities to participate in programs such as: Youth Judicial/Legislature, Model United Nations, Speech and Debate, etc.

Although Alford’s and Param’s project was not a finalist, the YMCA of greater Montgomery is very proud of their hard work and dedication to creating impact in the River Region.

“Through programs like YMCA Changemakers, the Y empowers young people to reach their full potential as thoughtful, caring and dedicated community leaders,” said Corey Calcote, Executive Director, Britton YMCA. “I am so incredibly proud of the YMCA of Greater Montgomery’s own emerging leaders, John and Yash, for their participation in the summit and encourage them to continue their work on their project, which is sure to create lasting impact in the River Region for many years to come.” 

The Changemakers Summit is informed by the YMCA’s Changemaker Strategy, which aims to prepare young people to be active contributors and stakeholders in decision-making within their communities. The Changemaker Strategy is guided by 3 principles: beliefs and values, meaningful experiences, and intentional settings.


About the Y

Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening the community for more than 150 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, by ensuring resources, relationships, and opportunities for all to learn, grow, and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment, and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across our Montgomery community. 

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