Summer is here and students are finally all on vacation.  As the temperatures climb, everyone’s looking for some place to cool off and hang out.  The YMCA of Greater Boston is the perfect solution for everyone this summer, especially for teens!  Have you heard about our free Get Summer Program

This summer, the YMCA of Greater Boston opens its doors and welcomes all teens (ages 13 – 17) until September 7, 2013, for free!*  We want the YMCA to be the place teens can turn to for recreation, academic assistance, employment and a safe social network.  If you’re not convinced that the YMCA is the place to be, here are two of our success stories from Prince Unaegbu and Danny Donabedian. 

Y Teen Spotlight: Prince Unaegbu

Towering over a camper half his height is 6’6” Prince Unaegbu, a remarkable football player and a participant of the Boston Youth Fund and Get Summer Program.  His friends refer to him as Prince “Man-of-Steel” Unaegbu, referring to his Superman-like status and larger-than-life personality.  Prince is coming off a season of accomplishments, which he owes heavily to his previous summers spent at the YMCA of Greater Boston.

After an unfortunate mishap of breaking his arm his junior year of high school, football player Prince, turned to basketball as an alternative way to stay in shape.  Thanks to his previous summers playing pickup basketball in the YMCA’s gymnasium, he was already prepared for a smooth transition between the two sports.  In fact, within a year, Prince and his teammates took home the Massachusetts Division 2 High School basketball championship.  In the championship game, Prince was awarded MVP to accompany his other outstanding accomplishments that year: Varsity Football Head Captain, Football All-Star, Basketball All-Star and Most Valuable Scholar Winter Season Award.  The combination of Prince’s dedication and his days at the YMCA, allowed him to turn an unfortunate situation into an opportunity. 

Having graduated this summer from Brighton High School, the Boston resident is headed to Bridgton Academy this fall where he will return to the football field.  In the meantime, he is taking advantage of his free Get Summer membership to prepare for the upcoming school year by working out in the weight room and continuing to play pickup basketball with his friends. 

Y Teen Spotlight: Danny Donabedian

If Prince plays the part of Superman, Danny Donabedian plays the part of his alias, Clark Kent.  Mild-mannered with meticulously groomed hair and wire-rim glasses, he is a regular volunteer and Get Summer participant at the Oak Square YMCA.  While Prince has made his mark on the sports field, Danny does his work in the world of academia.  He’s coming off a campaign as Lead Delegate of the YMCA-run Youth in Government program where he won the award for Outstanding Legal Advocate, the Ginny Robinson Student Leadership Award and the Yale Book Award. 

Even though school has just come to a close, in no way is it over for Danny or is it a break from his regular duties.  He is busy preparing for his upcoming senior year, using his free Get Summer membership to volunteer for YMCA youth sports classes, participate in the Leaders Club and take advantage of the free wi-fi in the air-conditioned atrium.  By keeping his mind active and challenged, he expects that by the end of the summer, he will be more than prepared for the challenges of senior year as the Student Council President at St. Joseph’s in Brighton.

Path to Leadership

Danny and Prince represent two very different enrichment experiences at the YMCA, but both have found a place to grow as inspiring young adults.  The Get Summer Program with its free membership and access to 13 YMCA facilities allows teens, such as these two, to grow over the summer and prepare for the next stages of their lives.  Whether it’s working on improving athletically or preparing for school and its academic rigors, the YMCA Get Summer Program has something for all teens.  The YMCA doors are open, air conditioning on, and we’re looking for the next group of leaders to join our community!


*Those 19 and younger are also eligible if they are still in high school.


About the Author

Calder Akin

Calder has been a member of the Oak Square YMCA for 6 years. He has worked at the YMCA for 4 years and is currently the full-time Teen Director, responsible for coordinating youth programs and adult sports. Around the branch, he is known as “Coach C”, in part because of his prior roles as soccer referee, basketball scorekeeper, and personal trainer.  Outside of his life at the YMCA, Calder enjoys watching and playing sports, cooking, eating, reading and traveling.


Related Links

YMCA Teens Page

YMCA Member Story: Overcoming Arthritis

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