YMCA Change Agents

What is it?

The YMCA Change Agent programme is a global leadership development programme to empower young leaders as change makers in their own communities.

YMCA Change Agents are young volunteers and/or staff from YMCAs across the world who strengthen the YMCA so the YMCA can serve more young people. They participate in innovative and life changing experiences including online and face-to-face trainings, mentoring and local project development for expansion of youth services. They gain skills to help transform their YMCA and community and they build connections to an international network of other young leaders.

Since 2014, 750 Change Agents have graduated and are leading change in 67 countries around the world. Change Agents are active and their projects are changing lives.

Why we do it…

From our very beginning the YMCA has been about working and advocating for young people. The YMCA Change Agent programme is our way of investing in the present and the future of our movement.

Two cohorts of Change Agents have now graduated and are continuing to be an inspiration within their local and national movements, through providing leadership, by implementing new programmes and by inspiring staff and members of YMCAs all around the world to connect more with the global message of Youth Empowerment.

“I have a more global view now and a view of global realities. This is something I can bring home to my National/Local YMCA.” – Change Agent (Cohort 2, 2015/16)


REGISTRATION OPEN COHORT 4: The application deadline is 1 May so contact your national YMCA office to register today! 

In 2019, the programme is coordinated by World YMCA in partnership with YMCA Area organisations and National Movements and will engage up to 200 young leaders in the next cohort (2019-2020) in training opportunities (online and face-to-face), local project development, mentorship and an opportunity to be part of YMCA 175 in London, England.

Who does what?

National and Local Levels:
All YMCAs continue to select and support Change Agents for the future cohorts with local mentoring/coaching and in the implementation of local projects as well as to integrate graduated Change Agents into relevant work taking advantage of the skills and experiences gained during the programme.

Area Levels:
Areas will jointly implement the Change Agents Programme in partnership with the World YMCA and have shared responsibilities on selection, training, and evaluation, Coaching/Mentorship of Change Agents. When applicable, areas are integrating signature programmes as part of the Change Agents experience.

Global Level:
World YMCA is responsible for the overall leadership and coordination of the programme, delivery of trainings (face-to-face and online), evaluation and monitoring

Change Agents Global Gathering

Change Agents Global Gathering Portugal, Setúbal, September 1 – 10, 2017