The Y’s Most Impactful Year Yet: New Programs, Returning Favorites, and a Jam Packed 2022
Last updated: January 4, 2022, at 11:01 a.m. PT
Originally published: January 3, 2022, at 2:14 p.m. PT
Welcome to 2022! The YMCA of Greater Seattle has exciting things in store as we live our mission, advance equity and justice for all, and strengthen our impact in service to community.
The Y’s expanded Vision 2025 calls us to produce more equitable outcomes for all, especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), as well as other marginalized youth to develop their full potential. The Y’s Equity and Justice Center of Excellence is leading our journey toward becoming an anti-racist organization by deepening and broadening our community partnerships.
The Y programs you know and love are expanding to better meet the changing needs of our community. In 2022, we are opening three new Early Education Centers, adding more Virtual Y livestream classes, expanding Y Community Conversations, launching a new summer camp property, and adding more mental health counseling at our local Ys. You will also see growth in youth programs like Kids Club, Parent’s Night Out, hockey camp in partnership with Seattle Kraken, and so much more.
We can’t wait to have you walk alongside us in this work.
The Y is making huge strides in 2022 to serve community.
Investing in Youth and Families
- As we kick off the new year, you’ll learn more about our strategic operating framework to breathe life into our expanded Vision 2025, the Y’s bold plan to advance equity and justice for all, especially BIPOC and other marginalized youth furthest from opportunity. Other areas of focus include supporting whole person health using trauma informed approaches, social emotional learning, access to early education, and preventing and mitigating risk factors for underserved youth.
- Woodinville, West Seattle, and Redmond will soon be home to three new Early Education facilities. These centers enable us to serve hundreds more youth and families and help kids build life skills and prepare for success in education and in life. Early Education Centers also help moms, dads, and caregivers get back to work.
- With the support of local community partners like you, we will expand our land purchase at Mineral Lake as we establish our first new camp property in more than 100 years. This camp creates opportunities for more youth and families to enjoy the splendor and health benefits of the great outdoors.
- No child should have to sit outside a closed fast food restaurant for access to the internet to do their homework. The Broadband for All program will bring free broadband access to families at three local Ys in early 2022 and expand to additional locations throughout the year.
- We are expanding STEM and Art education with new virtual coding classes for youth, along with youth-focused cooking, student government, and dance programs.
Advancing Equity and Justice
- Led by our Equity and Justice Center of Excellence, the Y will deliver robust Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service programming in January. This significant event sets the tone for 2022 community-centered events and programming to advance cultural awareness and learning in our community in support of our journey to become an anti-racist organization.
- We are expanding volunteer opportunities for community to engage in our work. Learn more and sign up today.
- We will continue to engage our Indigenous communities on camp cabins named after tribal peoples, on crafting programming that honors local native histories, and rethinking our camp curriculum for youth in a way that recognizes and celebrates the historical and current contributions of Indigenous peoples.
Investing in Staff
- Working at the Y is more than a job; it is a way to make a meaningful impact in our community while building a career. Working with the Y has its benefits and perks, and in 2022, they’re getting even better as we aspire to become an employer of choice in our region. For our current and future Y staff, we’re adjusting wages to be more competitive, increasing benefits, and working with community partners to help create more opportunities for youth seeking summer jobs.
- We are also expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion training for staff to produce future equity leaders in our community.
- After a successful pilot that helped 65 Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) youth learn to swim, we’re expanding the Y’s Safety Around Water program to serve more BIPOC youth and eliminate a leading cause of preventable drowning among youth.
- Mark your calendars for, Wednesday, September 28th, for the next installment of our signature A.K. Guy Award event, which will celebrate volunteerism and the changemakers that help make our communities thrive.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, our communities’ need for mental health support and substance use services has skyrocketed. The Y's Social Impact Center continues to expand mental health services through trauma-informed counseling for all ages, suicide prevention education, crisis support, shelter and housing, and eviction prevention.
- Group exercise and small group training offerings will see a plethora of new options in 2022. From Pilates, TRX, and walking groups, to specialized sports conditioning for youth, and classes in swim and weightlifting for women, the Y has something for everyone.
- Youth sports are back in a big way, with new offerings like rock climbing and a hockey camp in partnership with the Seattle Kraken, joining old staples such as basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
- We’re making a greater investment in Virtual Y for those rainy days when you can’t make it to the Y or little ones need an activity at home. Virtual Y, a 24/7 on-demand service free to all members of the Y, offers up workouts led by Y instructors, youth activities, cooking lessons, and more.
- Through a whole person health approach, we are increasing offerings of our signature programs focused on preventing or managing chronic conditions including the Y's Diabetes Prevention Program and Lose to Win weight management program.
These are only some of the highlights of our work and the investments for 2022. This work is only possible through your support, and we thank you for walking alongside us on this journey. We cannot do it without you.
Even as the triple pandemics of Covid-19, systemic racism, and climate change continue to challenge us in 2022, the Y continues to serve and be there for community. As we recover and welcome community back into our Y programs and facilities, people of all stages of life are coming together to re-connect, laugh, learn, exercise, and collectively strengthen community.
In 2022, we wish you and your family, all the peace, prosperity, and joy your hearts can hold, and can’t wait to see you at the Y.