Vision 2025 - The Y’s Bold Plan for Strengthening Community for the Future

Last updated: November 16, 2021, at 4:50 p.m. PT

Originally published: November 16, 2021, at 4:50 p.m. PT

Vision 2025

By. Loria Yeadon

Despite the challenges that have confronted us over the past year and a half, we are learning to find opportunity in every situation and seize it in service for community. Facing the realities of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, we recognize more than ever the criticality of addressing the root causes of disparate impacts laid bare during the pandemic. These inequities arise systemically and are manifested in health care, housing and homelessness, education, broadband access, food insecurity, and behavioral health, especially in marginalized and minorities communities, creating cycles of generational harm.

As we rebound, rebuild, and recover from the pandemic, the opportunity is before us to do even more to meet our communities’ most pressing needs. To seize this opportunity, a bolder vision is required to create the inclusive, equitable and just future we want for our children.

Vision 2025 is a bold plan to advance equity and justice for all by taking a holistic approach to individual health, social and emotional learning, and trauma-informed care, starting with ourselves. Through Vision 2025, we aspire to produce more equitable outcomes for all, especially Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) and other marginalized communities who are furthest from opportunity.

To realize Vision 2025, we will focus on enabling youth to fulfill their fullest potential in spirit, mind, and body. Like adults, youth are struggling with food insecurity, sedentary lifestyles, stress, anxiety, economic uncertainly, lack of access to opportunity and resources, and so much more. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in four people under the age of 18 have struggled with suicidal thoughts since the start of the pandemic. Young people also face new challenges of climate change, cyber bullying, harm brought on by social media, and a sobering rise in hate and bias-related violence. Our youth have struggled and learned coping practices, which can leave them feeling helpless, dejected, and full of anxiety and dread with no outlet.

We must pay attention to our young people and invest in them with commitment and urgency, especially those furthest from opportunity. They are our future. To realize Vision 2025, we will focus on enabling our youth to fulfill their fullest potential through five goals, which will be woven into everything we do, everywhere we do it.

Five Goals to Empowering Youth

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Through five main goals, build upon trauma-informed care, youth development, and social and emotional learning (SEL), the Y will meet youth where they are and travel through their journey with support, guidance and care rooted in research and understanding.

Through "Healthy Living Whole Person Health," youth and young adults, especially from BIPOC communities, will participate in Y programs focused on developing spirt, mind, and body.

"Early Education," supports families, especially those living in low-income communities, with pre-K, preparing and empowering youth for early success on their educational pathways.

With a focus on "Preventing and Mitigating Risk Factors," we acknowledge that young people are experiencing health, social and emotional risks to a different degree than adults, and the Y wants to support youth with specialized care to help build social networks and the skills to reach their full potential.

Along with these three goals are two foundational goals which intersect every thing we plan to do in service of youth.

A strong basis for "Social Emotional Learning," helps young people build core SEL capabilities to equip them to make positive and future-oriented choices.

Coupled with "Social Responsibility, Equity and Justice," the Y helps youth thrive by continuing our journey to become an anti-racist earning organization, and a community leader, partner and advocate for creating a more equitable tomorrow.

With a focus on our young people, particularly those furthest from opportunity, we will build on our community-centered approach, by working together with schools, governments, philanthropic organizations, and other community-based organizations to identify and remove barriers to opportunity and economic mobility. Through increased access and exposure of BIPOC audiences to vital programming offered by the Y and its community partners, we will expand access to formal early education programs, implement frameworks to capture youth voices in all youth-serving programs, expand partnerships with housing providers and community employers, and connect youth with community networks and support through referral systems, to name a few.

Vision 2025 is bold plan to strengthen our community for the future that can be realized with your engagement and support. Our opportunity to shape our future is before us. Let’s walk alongside one another and seize it together. We cannot do it without you.

Get involved and join us in the effort to empower and champion our young people, by volunteering your time, getting involved as a donor, engaging in learning more about the issues and barriers our youth face, sharing our impact with youth who may need our services, and partnering with the Y to close opportunity gaps, we can break the cycles of oppression and replace them with opportunity.

You can make a difference.

Learn more about Vision 2025 and our goals, strategies, and impact. And make the pledge to get involved as a donor, volunteer, and learner today.


Loria Yeadon is President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle