Thank you for your interest!

Thank you for your interest in the Y-ExCL Summer Program! We are sorry to inform you that the applications for Summer 2023 are no longer open. Applications for next summer will be accepted starting in the fall. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Client Testimonials


A Generation of ExCLlence 

Written by: Lauren Low

December 2022

Read how the Y-ExCL Program is Changing the Lives of Teenagers in Des Moines 

My told her story of how the Evelyn K Davis Center (EKDC) kickstarted her introduction into the real world. Through the Y-ExCL program for youth, My was able to learn valuable information and gain work experience.  

“Initially when I started Y-ExCL, I was 16 and I was really naïve and didn’t know [anything] about the workforce,” My said. 

My met with Jason Vang – the Youth Program Coordinator – who helped My gain a position partnering with Gateway Dance Theater in downtown Des Moines. 

“My first job in the summer youth was actually like a rental job. I did graphic designing and event planning. I wanted to do a job that was with art and also the office setting,” My said. “I honestly enjoyed it because it wasn’t like any first job experience that teenagers get."  

As an 18-year-old, My has been part of the Y-ExCL program for two years. Jason helped My learn about paychecks, taxes, and information regarding the professional field. 

“He [Jason] brings a bunch of speakers who coach these different aspects to prepare you for the workforce, and it really taught me a lot about how to work with people and how to deal with people,” My said. “I learned a lot about myself and adapting to an environment where I am going to be working with unfamiliar faces.” 

My heard about the Y-ExCL program during her junior year in high school. One of her teachers sent an email with information regarding the summer program which peaked My’s interest. My explained how you apply for the Summer Youth Program through an online application. Students then must be selected for an interview. My completed her interview which was where she first met Jason. 

“There’s a diversity of people in that program, and if you’re someone that is really naïve of the professional field or work field I think Y-ExCL is a great opportunity for you to jump in for a great start and get to know everything about the adult life,” My said. 

My is currently a full-time student at DMACC as well as an employee as a barista. My’s plans moving forward are to gain as much education as possible and continue to pursue her dreams. 

“I would recommend [the EKDC] because, for me personally, it was just something unexpected. The people in that program actually want to help you and it’s really cool how they would try to find people from low incomes and introduce them to this kind of opportunity,” My said.  

My is an inspiration to other youth in Des Moines and a testament to the Y-ExCL program.  

What's Next

After completing the 2-week training, students are matched with one of our Partnered Employers and work Monday- Thursday, for a total of 20 hours starting at $13.00 an hour. Fridays are reserved for programming that will consist of college tours, service learning projects, and other enrichment activities. The opportunities range from office/administrative duties, inventory flow and control, maintenance, facilities, childcare, event planning, and labor/construction-related jobs for age-appropriate youth.

The 10-Week Commitment is as Follows:

  1. Monday, June 5th through Friday, June 16th: 2-week pre-employment training
  2. Monday, June 19th: First day of job placement
  3. Thursday, August 10th: Last day of job placement
  4. Friday, August 11th: G​raduation

If you are interested in participating, the first step is to fill out the online application. Please make sure your email address and phone number are current and accessible. Applying does not ensure acceptance into the program, it means you are now an eligible candidate to conduct an interview for program consideration.



​​​​​Let's Partner!​​​​​​

We partner with local non-profit organizations and businesses to offer real life work experiences for youth we work with over the Summer. Our students range from 14 – 21 years old and we offer 20-hour work experiences for 8-weeks over the 10-week Summer Program. Students will complete a 2 week pre-employment training prior to starting their work experience and will then work Monday through Thursday for the remaining 8 weeks of the program. With the mentorship, leadership, and supervision provided by our partnered employers, this gives our students a chance to practice what they’ve learned during the 2-week training period in a real-life work experience.

Employer Partner Form