Kevin Washington President & CEO YMCA of Greater Boston 316 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115 617-927-8125 | email
THE CHARLES HAYDEN FOUNDATION SUPPORTS YOUTH ACTIVITIES AT THE ROXBURY YMCA The Charles Hayden Foundation recently announced a $60,000 grant to the Roxbury YMCA as part of their long term commitment to the Grove Hall community. This funding will continue to support the Y's partnership with Project Right, a nonprofit focused on promoting involvement in neighborhood stabilization and economic development within the community of Greater Grove Hall (Roxbury and North Dorchester).
In 2013, the two organizations will continue to host Friday nights at the Roxbury Y from 9:00pm to midnight. Each week, the YMCA provides a variety of activities including basketball and other youth sports, but also informational workshops, fitness activities, dances, and other recreational activities to an estimated 120 - 150 individual youth, ages 13 to 18, every Friday night.
This summer the Roxbury Y will also host hot dog nights with Boston Police officers weekly, weekly family carnivals, employment opportunities for teens, and much more.
For more information about summer activities, please contact the Roxbury Y's Teen Director, Kache Boyd.
GET SUMMER PROGRAM FOR TEENS SET TO KICK OFF Get Summer, the Y's summer program for teens, will launch on June 29. For 10 weeks, until September 7, teens between the ages of 13 and 19 (18-19 year olds must be in high school) will be welcome at all of our Ys. In 2012, almost 5,600 youth participated in the Y's signature summer program. This year, we hope to enroll 10,000 teens at no cost for an unlimited, unrestricted membership, good at any of the Y's branches.
Each Greater Boston Y branch will be hosting programs, events, field trips, workshops and other activities specifically for teens. In addition, teens will have access to all health and wellness centers and pools during regularly scheduled branch hours. Teens can register for a membership in person at their local Y.
HEPA STANDARDS PROMOTE HEALTHY BEHAVIORS FOR YOUTH IN Y PROGRAMS The YMCA of Greater Boston has joined with hundreds of Ys across the country in adopting the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) guidelines developed by the YMCA of the USA for early education and out-of-school-time programs. These guidelines grew out of discussions with First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America, a year-old nonprofit group dedicated to supporting Mrs. Obama's campaign to reduce childhood obesity.
The guidelines are aimed at inspiring kids to be healthy and strong through a commitment to lifelong exercise and good eating routines. At our Ys, we are creating a healthy environment in our after school programs by eliminating transfats and passive screen time, serving healthy snacks where possible, eliminating sugary beverages and serving water as the main drink, offering 30 minutes of physical activity every day and one hour of nutritional education a week.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS TEAM TRAINSAT CHARLES RIVER Y The Charles River YMCA proudly sponsored an aquatics team for this year's Special Olympics, which culminated in a meet at Harvard University last weekend. Fifteen local children with varying degrees of ability participated with the help of high school volunteers, parents, and Y staff.
The children have been practicing for three months at the YMCA pool on Great Plain Avenue in Needham. The Y's swim team, led by Aquatics Directors Kristen Powers and Colleen Toomey, "adopted" this group of athletes. They made individual signs for each child to cheer them on from the stands, in addition to hosting a banquet at the Y for the children and their parents. Thanks go out to Y staffers Kate Ward and Sam Draper for their help in organizing these activities.
Many of the kids participated in this program at little or no cost to their families, thanks to the generous support of local donors to the Charles River Y's Annual Fund.
YMCA STAFF, VOLUNTEERS AND PARTNERS HONORED AT WHITE HOUSE EVENT
Kevin Washington (right), along with Tiffany Cooper-Gueye (left), CEO of Building Educational Leaders for Life, and Jorge Perez (center), Vice President for Youth Development at YMCA of the USA, participated in a panel discussion at the White House Champions of Change event
On June 6 and 7, the White House and YMCA of the USA recognized 12 Champions of Change who support the Y cause, hosting 150 individuals, including Y staff, volunteers and key partners, to celebrate innovators in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Created as part of President Barack Obama's Winning the Future initiative, the Champions of Change program features individuals, businesses and organizations that are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.
During the two-day celebration, YMCA of Greater Boston President & CEO Kevin Washington spoke on a panel about youth development issues, moderated by Scott E. Buckhout from the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. General Board Vice Chair Betsy Burnett also participated in the Champions of Change events.
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: ANN MERRIFIELD Ann Merrifield is currently the CEO of PathoGenetix and has previously worked in the biotech and financial fields, with companies such as Genzyme Corporation and Bain & Company. She was elected to the YMCA of Greater Boston's General Board in 2012. With a particular interest in health and disease management, Ann has been selected as the 2013 Program Champion for the Y's diabetes programming.
Tell us about your first experience with the Y I was a summer day camper in my hometown of Sanford, Maine. At the time, my mother was a summer counselor as well, and I attended for several years before switching to a YMCA overnight camp in New Hampshire when I got older.
Why did you decide to get involved with the Greater Boston Y as a volunteer? I was impressed with the huge opportunity for impact that the YMCA of Greater Boston had in front of it - and impressed with the strength of the leadership team at the Y as well.
How has the Y influenced your life? My early camp experience contributed to a lifelong love of hiking, swimming and camping. The values re-enforced by this early Y experience were important too. Each of my three children have gone on to participate in YMCA camps and swim teams - and many of my nieces and nephews as well. The YMCA has had an important and positive impact on our family.
CORPORATE PARTNERS PREPARE Y FACILITIES FOR UPCOMING SUMMER CAMP A big thank you to volunteers from Boston Financial Data and Deloitte for helping to prepare YMCA locations to welcome more than 10,000 campers this summer. Fifty volunteers at Boston Financial Data spent a sunny day at the Ponkapoag Outdoor Center landscaping the grounds, while 30 volunteers from Deloitte spent a rainy day on indoor cleaning projects at the West Roxbury Y, Egleston Square Y, and also at the Ponkapoag Outdoor Center.
Deloitte volunteers helped with indoor projects at Ponkapoag
Volunteers from Boston Financial Data at Ponkapoag Outdoor Center