The history of the YMCA - like the history of the United States - is a story of incremental progress toward greater inclusion and equity for all. As a part of our celebration of #BlackHistoryMonth we are honoring the stories of Black leaders who helped move the Y - and America - forward.
At the YMCA of Greater New York, we believe all communities are stronger when everyone feels welcome and we can all work together for the common good. For World Poetry Day, we are sharing our New Americans' students poems. One way for them to learn English, and to help communicate and assimilate to American culture is through the art of poetry.
Basketball has a rich history at the YMCA – James Naismith created the game of basketball in 1891 at the Springfield YMCA – well before segregation was abolished. As a part of our continued celebration of Black History Month, we're sharing the stories of some of the unsung Black heroes from the history of basketball and highlighting the impact they made on the sport in helping make it what it is today.
It’s the unfortunate reality that breast cancer has touched the lives of many in some way or another. In 2008, Natarsha realized her world was about to turn upside down at the young age of 33 when she did a self-exam and noticed something abnormal.But instead of harping on the difficult and distressing times she’s endured, she chooses to focus on what’s important to her: happiness, positivity, and love for life.
The thought of running can seem like a walk in the park to some. But it can also be very intimidating. Have you struggled to get through a mile? Or even through the first few minutes of your run? You’re likely in the same situation of more people than you think.
It’s so amazing that the weather has been great enough to get our workouts in outdoors! But all of this fun under the hot sun can have some unfortunate consequences, so we have to be even more careful. The key to staying safe and healthy this summer is staying hydrated.
Even while outside of their branches, teens remain passionate and dedicated to their YMCA. With the new remote learning environments, Y teens have taken initiative and have continued to participate in their programs with more vigor than ever. Especially with programs like Teens Take the City.
The heart is your body’s most important muscle. It beats about 100,000 times a day, and moves 1.5 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels. All of that work helps us breathe, move, and live.
Winter is an amazing time to connect with family — enjoying the holidays, vacations, and cozy time on the couch. But, also remember it’s great to get out and move, even when there’s a chill in the air. In fact, being active and exercising as a family improves family bonding and teaches good habits!
With January around the corner, people may be looking for motivation to implement healthier habits. Yoga's been proven to improve your health and wellness. Here are tips on how to get your journey started.
People think inclusion means welcoming people with disabilities, but it actually means welcoming all children. At the Y, Frank is just another happy camper. Every child should experience that — regardless of their needs or ability to pay.
I’m from Haiti and moved to New York City in 2017. I came to the YMCA in March 2018 to learn English. I left my country, but I didn’t finish my education. Learning English gives me more opportunities. I can go to university again, and find a good job in America.
I’m 91 and exercise has always been central in my life, since I was young. I take aqua aerobics with a group of 20 women. The majority of us are seniors, and we’ve all become close friends. We’re dedicated, devoted, and determined. And I feel more vigorous and have more energy because of the YMCA.
My husband started taking Nikko to Y swimming lessons at 8 months old. The Y puts a smile on her face. She’s healthy and active, with the pride and self-esteem that comes with feeling strong as a swimmer. The YMCA was critical to getting her there.
The Y has changed me in so many ways. But what they’ve given me the most is the opportunity to be me. The Y allows me to take what I love to do and help change people’s lives. The best gift that the Y gives anyone is allowing them to be themselves.
I think the Y is crucial for our younger generation. The most important part of our job as YMCA employees is to help all of the kids that walk through the Y’s doors. We’re meant to help shape them into the adults they will become because they are our future.
Health is now a priority in our household because of the Y. And as a single mom living in New York City, it’s wonderful to know my kids are in a safe, enriching place learning new skills. Most impactful have been the friendships we’ve formed. Now, when we see the Y sign, we see family.
After I lost my husband, everything changed. I thought we should visit family, but the kids said, “No, no, please, we need to go to the YMCA. The Y has helped Sami improve in athletics and academics, and it’s where Yasmine has made her best friends. And I don’t have to worry about their safety.
From English language classes to cultural integration and citizenship preparation courses, the Ys New Americans Welcome Centers offer help immigrants reach their goals and integrate into American society.
I used to be the shy, quiet girl. The Y helped me break out of my comfort zone and give me the confidence that I could be whatever I want. As a human being, you have to feel like you belong somewhere. I belong at the YMCA.
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Y. They’ve helped me with college applications. I’ve done community service projects. It’s the shoulder I need to keep me up. A safe zone where you can be yourself. The YMCA is a way of life.
With May being National Water Safety Month and summer just around the corner, now is a great time for families to learn how to be safe in and around the water. Learning water safety skills can serve kids for their whole lives.
Every day, the Y celebrates the educators that ensure our city’s youth are safe during the after-school hours. We asked some dedicated staff to share their favorite thing about being involved in afterschool programs at the Y.
With camp, family vacations, and preparing for the upcoming school-year, summer can feel like a whirlwind of activities! Whether you need to round out your family's summer plans or are looking for easy, low-key ways to have healthy, fun together — there’s plenty of ways to do that in the City!
With sizzling temperatures and endless distractions, summer can be one of the hardest times to stay motivated. But the benefits of exercise — weight loss, increased energy, improved immune system, better health — are the same for every season, even when you’re faced with the heat of summer!
There is nothing like New York City in the summer, especially if you have a little one and are excited by all that is right at your doorstep! No more coat, gloves, and boots — we can grab a water bottle and go!
I’m not just teaching someone how to swim, I’m teaching core values they will have for life. Values that will build their confidence and character, so they can succeed in the real world. That’s what’s really special about the Y. We can help everyone who walks through our doors.
The Y is perfect for my family. We all find different activities — swimming, weights, yoga — then meet up afterwards. What I love most about the Y is how it brings people together. New York City can be so rushed and noisy and anonymous. Not the Y. In the locker room, I have conversations with people I never would otherwise. With our country so divided, we need places like that.
My family basically lives at the YMCA. We started coming a decade ago for preschool and sent all four kids. Everything you could possibly do, we do it. Basketball, swimming, summer camp, ballet, the gym. The best part is the people. The Y gave us a community. Our children grew up here. I really can’t say enough about the Y.
At the YMCA, we see the strong bonds that are developed through our classes and programs. And this is the great promise of our work — to be the center of community where strong connections and friendships can flourish.
My family has been coming to the Y for 20 years. I started organizing pickleball games a few years ago. The game is challenging, but not intimidating. Young and old, men and women. Everyone plays together. The gym is electric. This community really cares about each other. We’ve found our second family at the Y.
Chinatown YMCA New Americans Student Ms. Liu Yan Tong participated in a beginner ESL class this winter. After one year of learning English, she gave a speech in front of hundreds of guests at the Chinatown Y Spirit Awards Gala. This is her story!
Summer camp is a big time for the Y. We hire more than 1,000 new employees to serve more than 13,000 campers every year. The best part is many of our staff were once campers themselves, or have children in our camps. We asked staff to share their best experiences.
It’s been over a year since I arrived from Afghanistan. At the beginning it was hard — you have to learn the language to understand people. After I went to Y events and made new friends, I learned how to communicate better.
Many associate seniors at the Y with Silver Sneakers and water aerobics classes. But older adults at New York City’s YMCA participate in a wide array of activities, including dance parties, holiday potlucks, healthy living seminars, and more.