BTAG Participants pose for photo. They are wearing leis and making a peace sign.

You hear the laughter, you hear the enthusiasm, and you hear the success of a thriving program. Welcome to Bridging the Achievement Gap (BTAG) at the Greater Ridgecrest YMCA.  

A free career and life skill readiness program for students in grades 7 to 12, BTAG was founded in 2003. The core curriculum is to support students academically, socially, and developmentally to be successful in their future endeavors. The program focuses on a variety of areas such as: College Prep/Readiness, Career & Goal Setting, Financial Literacy and Life Skills & Professionalism, to name a few.  

Currently, 43 middle and high school students from nine different schools within the area meet four times a week for the initiative.  

“BTAG is an opportunity to meet kids where they are, by building relationships. Through those relationships, we help students towards a successful future. This is a historical program that was started by our very own James Feazell, a well-known Ridgecrest community leader, who was part of the educational system for years. We want to continue what he started, passion for the success of our youth in The Greater Ridgecrest Community,” explains Tiffany Brown, Executive Director, Greater Ridgecrest YMCA.  

Recently, the program added free transportation for participants. 

“We are excited to have transportation now to pick students up from school and bring them to the Y. This has been a tremendous help for parents and for the transportation system as well with Pinellas County Schools. With the great support of TECO, it is now possible to finally meet this need,” comments Shannon Wynn, Senior Program Director, Greater Ridgecrest Y. 

Save the Date for the "BTAG Better Together Banquet" to be held on Thursday, April 18, 2024, at the City of Largo Central Park Performing Arts Center. 

Visit the official website to learn more, or support BTAG. 

Published: December 19, 2023

Category: Blog