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Reach & Rise® Mentoring Program


The Reach & Rise Mentoring Program™ is a national one-to-one therapeutic mentoring program determined to move youth from risk to resiliency. The program helps build a better future for youth by matching them with an adult mentor for one year.

Free of cost for families, trained mentors spend 1-3 hours per week with a youth between 6-17 years old, who may be an at risk youth dealing with low self-esteem, social isolation, family problems, peer conflicts, poor academics, and/or poor decision making.

The goal of the program is to help youth gain positive, consistent, and nurturing relationships with adults.  

Adult ESL

Our Adult ESL Program serves individuals that struggle to read, write, or speak English. It incorporates both the ESL competencies in the classroom and real life experience practice outside of the classroom to help students learn and retain English. Each student will go through an intake process to determine their personal English learning goal. Check-ins between students and the case manager ensures that goals are being met. The instructor will incorporate the students' learning goal into the curriculum. Students will also have the opportunity to practice speaking English with native speakers through conversation tables, participate in monthly field trips where they can use real life skills, rehearse interviewing for a job, and participate in group projects where they can learn to work with others and perfect their public speaking skills.

Our desired results for the program are for students to have opportunities to practice and retain the English they are learning in the classroom in everyday life and build skills to help them become more self-sufficient individuals. Progress of our results will be tracked through pre and post testing assessments, monthly check ins between case manager and students, satisfaction surveys and quarterly data summary reports. 

Classes are held Monday through Thursday from 10am-12pm. 

Service Connection

Our Service Connection Program does one-on-one case management for individuals. We connect Chinatown residents to resources, such as case management, job readiness ESL class, welfare resources, and employment opportunities. We also hold various workshops to help our clients become more self-sufficient in everyday life skills and be connected to their community.

SRO Family Support Program

The SRO (single room occupancy) Families Program started in November 2016 at the Chinatown YMCA supported by the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development in partnership with the Chinatown Community Development Center. This program gives SRO families use of the YMCA Community Center space as their “living room” in a home away from home. The program offers a series of activities and events that engage each family member and helps them to connect with other families. We do this by organizing bi-weekly family meals, monthly civic engagement workshops, and volunteer opportunities. The program also helps support each family by providing tutoring, access to the Y’s fitness facility, and offering new experiences outside of Chinatown through our monthly family outings. Our goal is to provide resources so that families can build healthy relationships with each other and others in the community because strong families equal a strong community.

Since the program started, it has brought some major changes to the lives of the SRO families. As SRO families are at a high risk of isolation, this program has really helped them to shy away from that. With the open living room, children have the opportunity to mingle with other children, and also have a big space to run around and really be kids. Families mentioned how their children would learn how to walk on the bed, as there are no other space in the SRO, and afraid of leaving home as the environment was still so foreign. Now, children comes to the YMCA and learn how to crawl, walk, and run in a safe space and environment. Children also learn to be in a space with other children, and learn how to share toys and space. This program offers a bi-weekly dinner, which is so necessary for the families. Families typically eat on the edge of their bunk beds at home, but coming to the YMCA allows them to enjoy a traditional Chinese meal every week, in a fun and festive atmosphere with their family and friends.

Parents have grown so much in this program. The parents typically don’t enjoy attending community events, but since coming to our program, the number of SRO  families attending other workshops and events in the community have increased. With our program, they have learn the true purpose of all the events and how to become more active in the community. Through volunteer opportunities, parents are building their skill sets for the working world.

The SRO family program have now become a safe place families trust to bring their children to. It is a place to learn, grow, and build a community together. This is their second home.

Contact SRO Coordinator, Julia Fung, for more information: jfung@ymcasf.org


Jocelyn Chen
(415) 748-3547

Jocelyn leads the Community Programs team and collaborates with the enrichment, Reach & Rise, service connection, and SRO family support programs. These programs benefit youth and families by sharing a collective motivation to engage the community in Chinatown and spread the YMCA's core values of youth development, social responsibility and healthy living. 

Kay Wu