Reach & Rise Mentoring Program

Posted by YMCA on January 1, 2017


The YMCA Reach & Rise® program inspires greater futures for area youth

[La Crosse, WI, January 1stIn January, the YMCA recognizes National Mentoring Month by celebrating the work of our Reach & Rise®Mentoring program. The program, established in La Crosse in 2013, matches area youth ages 6-18 with positive adult role models who want to make a difference in a child’s life.

Mentors are provided with 15 hours of training prior to being matched with a youth. This training provides mentors with the skills necessary to make a difference in their mentee’s life. Mentors then commit to meeting with their youth once a week for a year building relationships, doing fun activities, and changing their mentee’s life.

Dan, a current mentor in the Reach & Rise®Program, meets with his match Isaac once a week. Together they play basketball, go biking, and have even learned how to play disk golf together. “Isaac has opened up so much since Dan has started meeting with him,” Isaac’s mom says. “He is getting better grades in school, managing his emotions more when he is upset, and opening up to people easier than he used to. This program has really made a difference in my son’s life.”

Requirements to be a YMCA Reach & Rise Mentor are:

  • Be at least 21 years of age

  • Pass background check

  • Have a clean driving record

  • Complete 15-hour mentor training

  • Meet for 1-3 hours weekly for one year

In an effort to help more kids and teens achieve, the La Crosse Area Family YMCA is now offering a group model as part of the Reach & Rise® program. Two adult mentors will co-lead a groups of youth ages 8-15 for periods of 8-16 weeks. Spring groups will begin in February and will meet for two hours each week. Groups will provide the opportunity for youth to build healthy peer relationships, increase a sense of belonging, and normalize experiences.

For more information on the YMCA’s Reach & Rise® Program, or to become a mentor, contact Kellen Holden at or call (608) 519-5491.