Kevin Washington President & CEO YMCA of Greater Boston 316 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115 617-927-8125 | Email
THE Y RESPONDS TO THE MARATHON TRAGEDY All of us at the Y are deeply saddened by the devastating events at the Boston Marathon, and we know that many people, particularly youth, are continuing to deal with a variety of emotions relating to the attack. Please know that the safety, security, and well-being of the children in our care is our top priority. If you would like more information on how to support children and youth after a violent episode, please click here to view valuable information from the National Association of School Psychologists.
In an effort to show our appreciation for their support and dedication during the Boston Marathon tragedy, the YMCA of Greater Boston is offering a free individual membership to local Emergency Services Personnel during the month of May.* Victims of the bombings who are undergoing rehabilitation may receive a free Y membership through the end of the year to continue their recovery.
*Offer valid for individuals who are not current members of the Y.
SMITH FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANT FOR NEW PROGRAM AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEARNING CENTER We are pleased to announce that the Richard and Susan Smith Foundation recently awarded the YMCA of Greater Boston's International Learning Center (ILC) a three-year grant totaling $450,000 to establish a Transitions to College and Careers Program. This program will assist limited-English speaking residents of the Greater Boston area to improve their English and gain entry into college and certificate programs.
Since 1975, the ILC has provided more than 25,000 adult learners with the skills they need to meet their employment and educational goals. Students from more than 40 countries attend ILC classes annually. The ILC currently provides seven levels of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) from Beginner through Advanced, as well as courses in Speaking and Pronunciation, English for Employment, and Computer Literacy.
VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: JENNIFER NASSOUR Jennifer Nassour is an attorney at law and political analyst who served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party from 2009 through 2011. She recently founded Conservative Women for a Better Future, a non-profit organization dedicated to recruiting and supporting female political candidates.
Jennifer is relatively new to the Y family, but she carries just as much passion for our mission as those who have grown up in the Y. A member of the Dorchester YMCA's Board of Advisors for a year and a half, Jennifer was elected Chair of that Board in January of 2013.
How does the Y influence your community? Listening to stories and seeing the energy at the Dorchester Y, I want to give more and more back to the organization. I believe the Y can be a pillar in the community and a place that our youth find that they have options in life - different paths they can choose.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the Y? The fact that the Y could be the place that changes even one life - giving kids a safe place and loving environment after school; a place to learn to swim, play sports and engage in fitness; an opportunity to go to camp - made me want to do my part for the organization and the mission.
GREATER BOSTON Ys OFFER FREE WELLNESS WORKSHOPS As part of the Y's commitment to promote healthy living and improve the quality of life in our communities, the 13 Greater Boston YMCA locations are hosting wellness workshops for seven weeks in April and May. Running through the end of this month, these seminars, which include Nutrition for Families, Shoe Fit & Walk to Run for Teens, Workplace Yoga, and many more, are free and open to the community. Non-members who sign up for a Y membership on free workshop days pay no joiner fee and get $10 in Y Bucks to use toward Y programs.
All upcoming workshops and registration details are listed on our website.
HUNTINGTON AVENUE Y CELEBRATES 50 YEAR MEMBERS On May 2, the Huntington Avenue Y held its annual celebration for those who have been members of the Y for at least 50 years. In attendance at this year's luncheon were 45 men who have spent half a century at the Y enjoying fellowship while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
"At the Y I've found a sense of community and friendship unlike anywhere else," said 70 year member, Nicholas Tranquillo. "These guys are like my family." The event raised $15,000, including a matching gift from Tranquillo.
For many this was their first visit back to the Y since the building separation and construction began a year ago. Members were updated on the project and shared their enthusiasm for the new Y. "I hardly recognized the Y as it is now," said Mike Rusinak, a member for 50 years, "but the plans for the new facility are really exciting. I can't wait to get back on the handball court!"
ELEMENTARY STUDENTS FROM URBAN SCHOOLS LEARN TO SWIM AT THE Y "My favorite part of swim lessons is jumping in the deep end!" said nine-year-old Juliana Morales, a second grader from the Trotter School, who is pictured here with her mother. Juliana is a recent graduate of the Y's pilot program providing free swim lessons to Boston Public School second and third grade students. Over 500 students participated in the Urban Swim program at the Roxbury and Dorchester YMCAs this winter and spring.
On April 29, students celebrated the completion of their eight weeks of free swim lessons as part of the YMCA's campaign designed to ensure more Boston youth know how to swim and how to be safe around water. Students progressed at different levels, with all conquering their fear of the water. Juliana was the most improved of the swimmers in her group.
TEEN CYBER BULLYING PROGRAM WILL BE LAUNCHED AT ALL GREATER BOSTON Ys THIS SUMMER A Cyber Bullying program for teens was recently piloted at theEast Boston Y with 15 participants. Developed by Hazelton Consulting, the providers of the Safe Dates curriculum, this program focuses on teaching teens how to recognize the signs of bullying online and how to intervene when they witness inappropriate postings on sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
"In all of our programs, our goal is to teach teens how to make smart and healthy decisions for themselves and to understand the effects of their behavior on others," said Joey Cuzzi, Executive Director of the East Boston YMCA.
The Cyber Bulling program aims to raise awareness of what cyber bulling is and why it is harmful; to equip teens with the skills and resources to treat each other respectfully while using social media; and to give teens information on how to help if others they know are being cyber bullied.
Training for teen managers is currently ongoing, and the program will be rolled out across the Association this summer to all teens who will be employed at the Y.