The Harlem YMCA’s Achievers in Industry (bai) program was developed in 1971 by the late Dr. Leo B. Marsh, who was committed to the development of young people and the fulfillment of their dreams and aspirations.

This cooperative venture was designed to unite the resources of the home, school, corporate community, and the YMCA to help youth develop a positive sense of self while achieving high academic standards.

The Harlem YMCA is strongly committed to the bai program and is immensely proud to celebrate 50 years of success in 2020.

Learn more about bai:

Save the date for Harlem bai


About bai

The bai initiative, a college readiness and career exploration program; is designed to help underserved, college-bound teens to achieve higher education through exposure and empowerment. The initiative has continually expanded its efforts and has progressed to ensure its relevance while staying true to the spirit and purpose of the theme of the Annual Achievers in Industry Gala, "Celebrating Success; Developing Leaders and Cultivating Communities."

The bai program is comprised of four primary elements designed to work together and serve as supportive stepping stones toward the achievement of its overall mission. These four elements, Professional Mentoring Program, Historical Black College Tour, Corporate Scholarship Program and Corporate Internship Program foster hope and aspiration in the young people of our community while providing experiences that lead to opportunities for academic access and the development of critical leadership skills.

bai Programs

There are four key elements of the bai program. Individually, each is important on its own. Together, however, they are strategically interlaced to provide the basic foundation upon which our youth can continue to discover themselves, determine their aspirations and build towards their successful future.

Professional Mentor Program (est. 1988)

This program links high school and college students (mentees) with professionals (mentors) who have been identified as Achievers. These Mentors serve as positive role models and are committed to providing the youth with much-needed support and encouragement as they seek to attain their educational, social and personal goals. In addition to one-on-one mentoring experiences, mentees participate in a variety of career and personal development workshops and seminars.

There are also significant benefits for the participating Achievers of partnering Organizations. The Professional Mentor Program provides added value that goes beyond the mentor’s specific role within the Organization. These benefits include:

  • Opportunities to give back to the community by serving as mentors to the youth of the Harlem Y, helping them to improve both their hard and soft skill sets.
  • Networking and development opportunities that allow for personal and professional development among alumni, sponsors, and supporters.
  • Productive conduits for promoting knowledge sharing and leadership development, two key wins and driving forces in today’s information economy.

Historical Black College Tour (est. 1990)

After high school, what’s next? The idea of attending college can be both a hopeful dream and a cause to be intimidated by the unknown. This Historical Black College Tour provides students with the opportunity to envision a brighter future through the tangible experience of a college campus. The annual tour takes place during spring recess in April and includes approximately ten colleges and universities. Previous schools visited include Benedict College, Bennett College, Bowie State, Cheyney, Clark Atlanta, Alabama State, Hampton, Howard, Morehouse, Morgan, Shaw, Spelman, and Tuskegee.

The benefits that this program provides to the students are multiple and significant. Some of the more obvious ones include:

  • Opportunity to experience a variety of actual college campuses;
  • Afterwards, access to assistance with the completion and filing of college applications;
  • Additional opportunities for further examination of potential college prospects with a professional mentor.

Our partnering corporations also benefit from their support of the Historical Black College Tour:

  • Connection with the alumni of these colleges and universities within their organization;
  • Communication link promoting engagement with Employee Resource Groups;
  • Opportunity to support the education of the youth in the community it serves;
  • Fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between the corporation, its employees and the communities supported by the Harlem Y.

Corporate Scholarship Program (est. 1995)

The Corporate Scholarship Program helps to develop future leaders through the provision of college scholarships to dynamic New York City students. This program provides direct support to youth pursuing a post-secondary education. To date, the Harlem YMCA has awarded $1.8 million in college scholarship support to our future leaders.

  • A special committee evaluates applications on an annual basis.
  • Award amounts are $2,500 per scholarship recipient. These funds help to off-set some of the educational expenses a college student encounters.
  • An academically successful student is eligible to apply for the scholarship during each of the four years of college enrollment.

Both the recipient and the scholarship donor receive many benefits from the Corporate Scholarship Program.

  • As a first step in the post-secondary educational experience, a scholar with minimal financial resources is able to explore options beyond their present reach. It helps them achieve a goal which may otherwise be difficult.
  • The program flourishes in tandem with the other elements of bai. A Corporate Scholarship recipient may have the benefit of a professional mentor and may have attended the Historical Black College Tour – all possibly leading to the selection of a college and a successful scholarship application.
  • Corporations which provide these scholarships, again, have the residual benefit of fostering goodwill within the communities in which it serves while helping to  educate its youth – who could possibly be future employees.

Corporate Internship Program (est. 2011)

The Corporate Internship Program offers the Corporate Scholarship recipients an enriching experience that gives them relevant and necessary training to move forward in pursuing their career.

  • Successful scholarship recipients are paired with partnering corporations and placed within the organizations for hands-on training, skills development and work experiences.
  • During this professional placement, students network and work closely with professionals in their field of study.
  • Corporations provide an enriching and rewarding experience that includes industry-specific exposure and challenging project assignments to the interns.
  • The internship is a 6-week recruiting tool that creates an ongoing pipeline of future full-time employees.
  • It allows the corporation to be a part of the process of closing the skills gap, applying the latest in techniques and technology and enhancing their social media outreach while fostering leadership skills in current employees.

Developing Leaders: Our bai Scholars

Founded on the principle of opportunities that inspire hope and determination, our scholars have always been the central focus of the bai program. Listed below are a few of our success stories.

Kareem Hines

Kareem Hines

As a teen, Kareem participated in the Harlem Y’s karate program and volunteered at the Harlem Y before moving to Indianapolis and supporting the Fall Creek YMCA, where he worked as a Swim Instructor and later, Youth Director. He also worked as a financial specialist and broker.

Through his YMCA experience, Hines discovered working with youth was his calling. He left the financial field and became a certified youth mentor working with local schools. In 2005 Hines took his mentorship to the next level and founded New BOY, a full time Mentoring & Life Skills Coaching operation.

Isaiah Walker

Isaiah Walker

Isaiah attended the Harlem Y’s afterschool program and took physical education classes at the Harlem Y during high school. Isaiah received his Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Ethnic Studies from Columbia University, taught middle school children in Harlem and Newark and later focused on teacher coaching and leadership development with KIPPNYC and KIPP School Leadership Program. After experiencing success while instructionally coaching and developing staff, Isaiah was recently appointed the role of Principal of KIPP Philadelphia Preparatory Academy.

Danielle Lahee

Danielle Lahee

Danielle received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at University of Richmond, and her JD at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. Her goal to become a Family Court Judge was inspired by the Y’s Teen Career Connection internship with the Legal Aid Society.

Danielle interned and clerked at Arnstein & Lehrer LLP before assuming her current position as a member of the Litigation Department in Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr in the firm’s Chicago office.

Khalia Braxton

Khalia Braxton

Khalia received her Bachelor’s Degree in International/Global Studies from Spelman College, and interned at IPG’s Hill Holliday and Marsh & McClennan Companies Inc. through the bai Internship program.

Previously employed as a Style Advisor at Bloomingdales, Fashion and Beauty Content Editor at Looklive Inc., and worked in the field of Social Media and Global Digital Marketing, Khalia has developed the skills of a digital marketing specialist. She currently serves as a Community Management Associate for Conde’ Nast Entertainment in the New York City area.

50th Annual Achievers in Industry Gala

The life-enhancing collaboration of the Harlem YMCA and its partnership corporations is celebrated annually at the Salute to Achievers in Industry Gala. The event provides corporations with a festive showcase for spotlighting and acknowledging successful executives from their organization along with the introduction of their scholarship recipients before an audience of committed civic leaders, executives and friends and family of the honorees. It also provides the Harlem YMCA with a prestigious platform to thank the corporate partners that make the mission of the bai program possible.

Harlem YMCA bai statistics

The 50th Achievers in Industry Gala will be celebrated on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at Cipriani’s on 42nd Street.

There are various levels of support for the bai Achievers in Industry. We invite you to join us in 2020 as we continue our 50-year mission of changing the lives of our youth.

Sponsorship Levels of Support

Corporate support of the bai program ensures its sustainability while celebrating and honoring corporate professionals from their organization who exhibit strong work ethic and proclivity for excellence.

Platinum Sponsor | $50,000

  • Platinum page in commemorative journal
  • Print and digital acknowledgment
  • Corporate logo on website
  • Corporate partner internship

Gold Sponsor | $25,000

  • Two (2) tables (10 seats each), in prime location
  • Two (2) bai Achiever or Rising Star Honorees
  • Three (3) $2,500 bai scholarship awards
  • Gold page in commemorative journal
  • Print and digital acknowledgment
  • Corporate logo on website
  • Corporate partner internship

Silver Sponsor | $15,000

  • One (1) table (10 seats)
  • One (1) bai Achiever or Rising Star Honoree
  • Two (2) $2,500 bai scholarship awards
  • Silver page in commemorative journal
  • Print and digital acknowledgment
  • Corporate logo on website
  • Corporate partner internship

Bronze Sponsor | $10,000

  • One (1) table (10 seats)
  • One (1) bai Achiever or Rising Star Honoree
  • One (1) $2,500 bai scholarship award
  • Full page in commemorative journal
  • Print & Digital Acknowledgment
  • Corporate partner internship

Corporate Internship Sponsor | $6,000

  • One (1) $3,500 corporate internship
  • Two (2) seats at bai gala

Scholarship Sponsor | $5,000

  • One (1) $2,500 bai scholarship award
  • Two (2) seats at bai gala

Community Youth Sponsor | $3,500

  • One (1) table (10 seats: exposure for nine community youth and one adult chaperon)
  • Acknowledgment in commemorative journal

Commemorative Journal Rates

  • Platinum Page - $2,700
  • Gold Page - $2,200
  • Silver Page - $1,800
  • Full Page - $1,600
  • Half Page - $1,100

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Executive Director Latoya Jackson at

Save the date for Harlem bai

Thank You to our bai Program Sponsors

Corporate sponsors of Harlem YMCA bai

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