Executive Summary

               YW Strive for Teens is the pilot expansion of YW Strive, a workforce development program that focuses on digital skills. This program addresses chronic poverty, unemployment, and underemployment, which are top issues for youth and young adults across the nation. YW Strive for Teens supports teenage girls (ages 13 -19) in developing the technical skills, interpersonal skills, emotional awareness, and self-efficacy necessary to become the critical thinkers, effective leaders, responsible entrepreneurs, and social innovators of the future. It is offered in a culturally responsive manner with a trauma informed care lens to address intersecting needs of the participants.



  1. Gain and maintain meaningful employment
  2. Mitigate the impacts of trauma and adversity in their personal lives
  3. Achieve and maintain financial stability


Project Background

The YWCA Strive for Teens program was designed as a pilot program based on the successful adult Strive Program for adult females. YWCA Strive is a hands-on workforce development and training program in digital skills designed to assist women and people of color who face employment barriers in finding careers and obtaining gainful employment.


The YWCA NETN and SWVA is excited for the opportunity to implement this programming into our daily activities for the 13–19-year-olds that we currently serve through our in-house programs. We possess the ability to address complex issues surrounding unemployment and poverty, through our daily work with teen pregnancy, at risk youth, and young adults who have experienced trauma. Through our current programming, we serve age 9-14 females through our Tech GYRLS after-school STEM program, teens who are 19 or younger through our MOM R US teen pregnancy program, as well as 17–24-year-old victims of crime through our YW CARES Victim Advocacy Program. Each of these programs provide on-going support and assistance related to employment, mitigating the impacts of trauma and adversity, and the overall goal of achieving stability and success as they move throughout our programs and into adulthood. Once this training is established, we will have the expertise in place for staff to continue the program past the grant deadline. The expense would be minimal, if we deem this program as asset to our client, we will have the capability to continue.


According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s 2019-2020 Economy Reference Guide, “Over the past year, Tennessee’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for increased from 3.4 percent in June 2019 to 9.6 percent in June 2020 while the national rate increased from 3.7 percent to 11.1 percent.” This grant opportunity would allow each of these programs to implement a very specific curriculum to complement our existing programs for the clients we serve. The YW Strive for Teens program would serve as an addition to programs in each of the above-named areas.


THE YWCA NETN and SWVA plan to collaborate with community partners to establish locations for Strive for Teen cohorts to assemble and participate in this beneficial program.

If you are interested in getting involved with the YWCA Strive for Teens Program, contact the YWCA NETN and SWVA at 423-968-9444.


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YWCA Service Area