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Teen Programs

Check out our teen programs for opportunities to explore your potential in leadership and community service. We grow and build the teens in by developing their skills to become and accomplish the great things we know teens are capable of. We give back, time and time again, because through service we honor our legacy and build our future leaders. We make things happen.

Teen Culinary Academy

The Chinatown YMCA Teen Culinary Academy is a workforce skill development and leadership development program for high school students using culinary skills as a way to engage and practice these new skills. Using our very own kitchen at the Chinatown YMCA, learn about food, nutrition, and culinary skills. By the end of the program teen chefs will learned to plan, shop, prep, and plate a meal for 30 people.

*If all program requirements are met, Teen Chefs will receive a small stipend upon program completion.

Friday Night Clubs

Friday night and the living is all right at the Chinatown YMCA. Signing up for Friday Night Clubs and be a part of something bigger! You and your friends have your choice of: Cooking Class, Hip-Hop, Peer Health Internship service and leadership club, and Fitness Training.

The SOMANYDYNAMOS are the teen service leadership group that represents our Chinatown YMCA teen population. From planning teen events, to community volunteering, to hosting monthly activities for other youth in the Community Center, to providing a teen voice, the SOMANYDYNAMOS does it all! Here you’ll develop your fundraising, event planning, and community organizing skills while meeting new

Have you ever been interested in the area of health? Do you want to grow and develop your leadership and speaking skills? We’ve teamed up with Chinese Community Health Care Plan to provide this exciting new internship opportunity. In this internship, you’ll learn to innovate and execute health related workshops to your peers under the guidance of Dr. Anne Hsii. Develop your leadership skills and give your college resume a boost!

Interested in cooking? Try your hand at cooking scrumptious meals with you and your friends. It’s a delicious adventure, as we learn proper food handling, knifing skills, and explore tastety recipes!

Take your moves like jagger and smooth swagger into our
dance studio. Up your game as we dance through modern hip

Let’s get fit! Together with other teens, you’ll learn about a
workout regimen that works best for you, new techniques and
routines, and even have fun!

Teen Volunteer

Our Day Camp, Summer School, and Aquatics programs are looking for a few good volunteers. Volunteers must apply, interview, and attend training to develop and refresh their skills. If you are an entering junior or senior in high school or older interested in working with kids this summer, this is the place to be. Along with gaining over 200 hours of service hours, we will grow you to be leaders through weekly workshops and chances to build your college resume! Let this summer be the one where you work with a fun, caring staff and get first-hand training in all aspects of being a camp counselor.

Click here for a School Year Teen Volunteer Form
Click here for a Summer 2020 Teen Volunteer Form

Access to Higher Achievement (AHA) and Next Step (Middle School)

Are you in middle school? Feel unprepared for high school? Well then Access to Higher Achievement (AHA) is the place for you! AHA offers middle school students the opportunity to hang out with their friends and meet new ones. We are committed to giving Middle School students a chance to develop their confidence, feed their curiosity through enriching activities, and develop a strong network of peers and role models.

College Trip

Join us as we explore some of the universities of Southern California. During spring break, we visit UC San Diego, UC Los Angeles and UC Irvine! We even squeeze in a fun trip to Disneyland! First priority for this trip goes to high school juniors and seniors.


Did the CIT and Volunteer thing? Ready to step it up and get paid? Our stipend teen employment program will give you just that opportunity. If hired, you will receive the title of Junior Counselor and will be responsible for duties similar to that of a Staff Counselor. Applications and interviews are required so polish those resumés and interviewing skills,  because we’ll be waiting! 

Ages: High School Juniors and Seniors


CITs (Counselors in Training)

The Counselor in Training Program is designed to give teens interested in becoming a summer Y camp counselor a chance to learn and develop their skills as a leader. Through this program, participants will learn how to lead games, teach cheers, supervise a group of children grades K-8, and understand the importance of group work.

Along with learning the skills needed to lead a group, teens will learn valuable confidence-building life skills such as responsibility, time management, and organization. To enforce group bonding and teamwork, CIT’s will go on field trips every other week such as: bowling, ice skating, and movies to name a few. All participants will meet at the Chinatown YMCA and will need to bring a bag lunch every day.

CIT Application Packet


Denise Hung
(415) 748-3546

Growing up at the Chinatown Y, youth and teen work is Denise's passion. Youth have the potential to change the world and she is proud to help programs that foster ability. 

Mandy Liu
(415) 748-3556

Mandy began at the Chinatown YMCA in membership and the youth department. Mandy is living her passion of bettering the community we serve at the Chinatown YMCA.