– by MSR News Online
The YMCA, in partnership with the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, announced last week that it will offer free memberships for thousands of teens and young adults across the Twin Cities.
The YMCA seeks to ensure that youth of all backgrounds and incomes have access to learning opportunities outside of school. The Y’s locations cut across city, county, and school district boundaries. More than 80% of Twin Cities teens live within 15 minutes of a YMCA location that offers opportunities for wellness, sports, leadership activities, STEM projects, and more.
“The YMCA Get Summer program is making a real difference in our community by providing a safe space for youth to connect and have fun while learning important lifelong skills,” said Mark Dienhart, president, and chief executive officer of the Schulze Family Foundation. “We believe supporting this program offers a truly unique opportunity to engage youth in their neighborhood with educational and enriching experiences with caring mentors and role models.”
This year the YMCA will offer teens entering 9-12th grade an opportunity to be engaged in fitness and wellness programming at the Y. They will also have opportunities for in-person and virtual teen-specific programming including:
- health and wellbeing classes
- leadership and character development programs
- access to gymnasium, fitness floor and aquatics areas
“The YMCA has given me so many options since getting my membership. You can always find me with my friends playing basketball or lifting weights throughout the week. This structure to my routine is crucial to my mental, emotional and physical health,” said Jacob, a 16-year-old teen from the Forest Lake area.
“I’m so thankful my kids have the opportunity to access so many activities and programs at the YMCA. I feel grateful they have a safe and fun environment they can be a part of,” said DeAnn Mayer, a parent from the Forest Lake area.
The YMCA is thrilled to partner with the Schulze Family Foundation to provide a safe environment for young people to engage in programs that promote healthy living, build character and leadership, and support success in school and in life,” said Glen Gunderson, president for the YMCA of the North.
For more information, visit ymcanorth.org/locations.