Did you know that one of the three YMCA areas of focus is youth development? Did you know that another one of those three is social responsibility? Local Ys in more than 10,000 communities across the U.S. have made a commitment to advance youth development, social responsibility, and heathy living for community members both young and old. Here’s how:
Overview of Y Programs
Through programs like Youth in Government and Youth Achievers, YMCAs all over the country are challenging youth to develop leadership skills and working to ensure that every youth has access to opportunities to pursue their best possible future. YMCAs are offering opportunities to give back through programs like Togetherhood to connect people to ways to make a difference in their communities.
Some Ys are even using the Youth Volunteer Corps model to combine youth development and social responsibility. These Y YVC programs look a little different as they reflect the specific needs in each unique community, but they all follow the eight YVC Program Standards. Here’s how two Ys, varying in size, are developing youth who are socially responsible this summer with YVC:
YMCA of Greater Kansas City hosts our local program that offers volunteer opportunities for hundreds of youth a year. This summer they’re offering eight to ten projects to pick from each week. As one of their many day camp opportunities, YVC is a great opportunity for teens to stay involved in their local YMCA even if they aren’t interested in traditional sports. Learn a little more about YVC of Greater Kansas City’s summer program in the Spotlight on Kansas City from last summer and by exploring their website.
Ann Arbor YMCA has been hosting the local program for more than two decades. YVC of Ann Arbor offers volunteer opportunities for youth in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and the surrounding communities throughout both the school year and summer. “We feel very fortunate to have established this significant youth development and social responsibility program well before the areas of focus had been established by the YMCA,” Ann Arbor YMCA President/CEO (and YVC board member!) Cathi Duchon told us when we talked to her for the Spotlight on Ann Arbor. “YVC has been our Y’s primary youth development program. And, of course, volunteering is social responsibility at the highest level.”
This summer, Expanding Horizons, YVC of Ann Arbor’s intensive summer program, is providing weeklong blocks of service-learning projects throughout the county, reinforcing teamwork skills, appreciation for diversity and civic responsibility.
Thanks to YMCAs who are valuing youth development and social responsibility, just like we are here at Youth Volunteer Corps!