Due to generous funding by the United Way, the Y continues to help youth become productive and engaged citizens. Early childhood and youth development programs at the YMCA open the doors of opportunity for education, leadership training, personal growth, service to others and social development.
Last year more than 15,000 youth participated in leaders clubs, Youth in Government, literacy services, after-school enrichment programs and other YMCA youth service activities.
Expanding programs for teens in particular is a priority that was identified in the Y’s 2009 strategic plan and as a result, the Y will continue to invest considerable capital and staff resources in the Carondelet, Downtown, Emerson, Monsanto and South City urban core branches to provide programs and services for youth.
The challenging economic environment has placed so much stress and strain on families in the greater St. Louis area. Those families are experiencing job losses and coping with increasing financial dilemmas. Many YMCA families are forced to withdraw their children from child care, sports programs and other YMCA activities because it is no longer affordable. And yet, these families need Y programs now more than ever. Thanks in part to United Way funding, the Y continues to come to the aid of these families.