The youths have always been the biggest agents of change in their communities. However, the Y is losing ground with young people. In 2004, 50% of the YMCA’s membership were youth (14-24 y.o). In 2019, that number was 39%. The Y has always been seen as taking a parental role to these youths instead of being a partner that can provide a safe, inclusive space.
The challenge of this project is: How can we engage and empower youth to be changemakers in their communities?
We will be working (researching and designing) with the YMCA Stakeholders as well as one YMCA branch in New York City. We also have the support from the DFA National. At the end of this project, we will be presenting at the YMCA Headquarters in Chicago, IL (April 24).
The Y is the leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community by connecting all people to their potential, purpose and each other. Working locally, the Y focuses on empowering young people, improving health and well-being and inspiring action in and across communities. The Y commits on these 3 areas: Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.
There are a variety of programs offered at each local YMCA near your area, including fitness classes, gym, swim lessons, family programs, kids classes, etc.