Coming Soon! Future Home of Wilson’s New Middle School Afterschool Program Emerges Downtown

Excitement is building as construction progresses on the Foundation YMCA building –the future home of an innovative afterschool program for middle school youth that will launch in August 2022. The building and the much-needed youth program are being funded as the first strategic grant initiative of Healthcare Foundation of Wilson.

In 2018, Healthcare Foundation of Wilson made a bold commitment of $25 million in strategic grant funding and partnered with the YMCA to design, launch and sustain the afterschool program and building. Downtown Wilson was identified as a central location for this special place and space for youth that will be accessible to all middle school students in Wilson County.

“Together we are building a brighter future for children in Wilson County,” said Denise O’Hara, executive director of Healthcare Foundation of Wilson. “The countdown is on now, and we can’t wait to hear the buzz of youth activity that will fill the Foundation YMCA building during after school hours.”

Youth Engaged in Construction Project
Student groups have been engaged in the project progress in different ways from early on – even in the design of the building. One group is participating in an 18-month Construction Academy created and led by Balfour Beatty in joint venture with Holt Brothers to help give middle school students a look at the entire construction process.

“We are excited about the opportunities that are already evolving for middle school youth to participate in real and unique experiences,” said O’Hara. “Adolescence is a significant time of brain growth and development, and we know that the environment and activities of youth play a key role in decision-making and future success.”

Learn More!
Middle school students will be able to sign up soon for the afterschool program and select from a menu of experiences to discover their personal strengths, pursue their passions and explore new interests. The Foundation YMCA building is slated for completion by August 2022. To learn more about the 2022 program details and enrollment, contact Edwina Lucas at or call 252-218-2794.