2023 Black Achievers Legacy Award

First Breckinridge Bancshares

For River City Bank, the opportunity to help create opportunities for young people, and encourage them to become empowered in their pursuit for higher education and professional careers, was one it couldn’t pass on.

On Feb. 13, the Chestnut Street Family YMCA Black Achievers program presented River City Bank with the 2023 YMCA Black Achievers Legacy Award. The award is presented to corporate sponsors that have made a significant impact to the success of YMCA Black Achievers through their giving, service and commitment to their mission and work. 

“River City Bank is proud to have worked with this educational and motivational program for the last 15 years,” said David Hobbs, president of River City Bank. “This is a program that helps create opportunities and open doors into the minds of our youth and teach them about the wonderful career paths available.”

The Black Achievers program, located at the Chestnut Street Family YMCA, celebrated 44 years in February. A multicultural effort to create equity in education, as well as in the workplace, the YMCA Black Achievers program motivates African American/Black and other minority youth to develop and pursue high educational and career goals.

Since 1979, the YMCA Black Achievers at the Chestnut Street Family YMCA has encouraged and inspired youth to pursue their educational and career goals. The program has a variety of “clusters” that meet twice per month that assist youth with specific career paths in mind, including arts, business and communications, computer and technology, education, engineering, health and medical, law and government, and vocational and trade. Each of these cluster groups are led by professional adult volunteer mentors. 

Floyd Smith, the chief security officer and chief collections officer at River City Bank, is on the steering committee of the Black Achievers Program as the chairman of finance. Floyd has been involved with the Chestnut Street YMCA Black Achievers for the last 30 years after his two daughters were part of the program throughout their time in high school. 

Floyd credits a similar program as the Black Achievers, a federal program called the Upward Bound program, for getting him to start looking for an opportunity to go to college when he was growing up in Mississippi. If not for that program, he says, he wouldn’t be where he is today. His goal with the Chestnut Street YMCA Black Achievers, among others, is to build a new “cluster” in 2024 for banking.

“This is why I spend my time and money at the Chestnut Street YMCA Black Achievers Program,” Floyd said. “This is not a federal program. It’s just us trying to find a way to get kids a better chance at life. I have used this motto most of my adult life: ‘None of the secrets of success will work unless you do!’ ”

As the program’s website states, “Through YMCA Black Achievers, youth gain a sense of self, raise their academic standards, build character, develop cultural competence skills, gain exposure to diverse career opportunities, engage in community service opportunities and receive hands-on service learning and field experiences. YMCA Black Achievers participate in an education-based mentoring program designed to holistically develop youth in grades 9-12 to their fullest potential.”

The YMCA Black Achievers was founded in 1971 by members of the New York Harlem YMCA and one of the program’s largest sites, among its 135 throughout the U.S., is the one at the Chestnut Street YMCA.

For more information on the YMCA Black Achievers, including how to volunteer or enroll, please visit their website by clicking here, or contact them at blackachievers@ymcalouisville.org or (502) 587-7405.