The following is an Op-Ed from Dan Chapman, CEO of YMCA of San Joaquin County.
As a new school year is underway, let’s put a spotlight on the positive impact the YMCA of San Joaquin County has on our community. With our base in Stockton, this popular nonprofit organization is focused on helping individuals across San Joaquin County learn, grow and thrive. While families are transitioning from summer to fall, the Y is offering programs to school-aged children throughout San Joaquin County to keep youth active and engaged during out-of-school time. This in turn supports a high quality of life in the region. Whether through sports, after school enrichment, day camps or volunteer opportunities, the Y nurtures the potential of children throughout the school year.
The benefits coming from many activities and programs offered through their well-rounded approach to youth development are tremendous in ensuring a better future for all. From social advocacy to food security, chronic disease prevention, swim lessons and academic support, the Y plays an important role in strengthening Stockton and San Joaquin County by helping to create confident kids today and contributing adults tomorrow.
The YMCA of San Joaquin County focuses their services in three key areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. We believe every child deserves an opportunity to discover his or her individual strengths and learn what they can achieve – regardless of age, income or background. After school activities and programs at the Y is an opportunity for families to ensure their kids are receiving additional support, continued learning and have a chance to participate in meaningful actions that can inspire children’s motivations and activities to succeed.
The Y helps nurture the potential and development of every child by providing a safe place to learn foundational skills. At our after-school programs children enjoy curriculum-based, life-enriching activities that help build leadership abilities and most importantly, encourage kids to be themselves. Our youth sports leagues, swim lessons, and playtime are also fun ways the Y promotes physical activities and healthy living. The Y is a place where youth can work toward finding balance by challenging themselves to learn a new skill or hobby, building connections with friends that last a lifetime, or bringing loved ones closer together through many family-centered activities.
The YMCA of San Joaquin County is here day-in and day-out to provide the resources our community needs to address the most pressing social issues, including child welfare, education and public health. As social responsibility is a large component of the Y’s focus, the organization aims to keep its doors open to everyone. Financial assistance is available to those in need, to ensure every child has the opportunity to learn and grow at the Y. This spirit of service enhances the character of our community.
Despite the efforts by the YMCA of San Joaquin County, challenges still face many individuals and families in our community. Parents of families struggling financially find it difficult to spend quality time with their children. These children, in turn, can often face seemingly insurmountable learning gaps because they are not getting the support they need to reach their full potential. The YMCA of San Joaquin County can be a pillar in providing support to these people.
For more information about the Y visit www.ymcasjc.org and see why now, more than ever, your local YMCA is key to achieving and maintaining a healthy and vibrant community.
Dan Chapman, CEO-YMCA of San Joaquin County