The Y – Arts Scholars Program Encourages Youth to Tap Into Their Creativity

As Seen On

The YMCA is not just a gym and swim. It’s a place people can go to exercise their creative side too, especially for youth. 

Their Y-Art Scholars Program provides scholarships to the communities most talented youngsters for a chance to try out what they’re great at doing. 

“We at the “Y” feel that everybody should be able to take advantage of arts programming and explore their creativity. It shouldn’t be just for people who can pay for it,” said Stefanie Noble, the YMCA’s Director of Marketing and Communication.  

The program helps kids get into those avenues, like private lessons, they might not be able to otherwise.   

Recommendations for scholarships come from teachers, administrators or even community members.   

School aged students must meet two qualifications for help, according to Phil Memmer, Executive Director of the Arts Branch, “they need to have financial need. It is a need based scholarship program but they also need to have passion and talent.” 

Talented local poet Linda Pennisi, professor at LeMoyne College, started the program in 2011 and was the sole individual donor.  Then, two years after its inception Delta Airlines signed on as lead sponsor of the program. The Pennisi family still plays a major role in the program today. 

For more information on the YMCA’s Y-Art Scholars Program visit 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Live Doppler 9 Map Center

CNY View

CNY View

CNY View

Oswego Area

Oswego Area

Syracuse Area

Syracuse Area

Ask The Expert

Do you have a question for one of our Bridge Street Experts?

Send them our way:

Just put "Expert" in the subject line and your questions could be part of our "Ask The Expert" segments.

We're highlighting advice from a financial advisor, a personal trainer, a doctor, a chef, a lawyer, and a nutritionist. Got a question? Share it with us.


When there's a call-in contest on Bridge Street, the number to call is 671-9990.

Occasionally, special contests will use a different phone number, so always double-check which number is given on-air.

For complete rules regarding call-in sweepstakes on WSYR-TV, please click here

Web Contests: Click here to see the current web contests on