In Uptown Harrisburg, the Camp Curtin Branch of the Harrisburg Area YMCA provides a sanctuary where kids can develop spiritually, mentally, and physically. Among its many programs, the YMCA offers mentoring for social skills and leadership, including the Girls All in Motion (Girls A.I.M.) and Boys Lead Evolve Aspire Do (Boys L.E.A.D.) programs for children ages 8 to 12. Academically, the YMCA also offers stimulating tutoring programs, including the Teen Achievers and Y Achievers, which aim to support academic achievement and career success in middle and high schoolers. An exciting variety of sports and hobby clubs are also offered, including basketball, lacrosse, judo, urban wilderness, chess, and art club. PACT member and YMCA Program Development Director TaWanda Stallworth has worked with the YMCA since summer 2019 and happily recalls the joys of her work and what the YMCA means to the Harrisburg community. “It’s been great. . . A lot of work, but fun. It’s important that our kids have sanctuary places -- places where kids can be kids. We can teach them, spend time with them, provide much needed positive relationships, and be a sense of extra support.” This support is largely evident in the positive values and self-efficacy the organization instills. The YMCA provides many opportunities for Harrisburg’s youth to build confidence internally, as well as in their future.
Most recently, in efforts to better serve their youth and community needs, the YMCA has expanded its guidance to include career exposure in their Y Achievers middle school program. Previously a traditional high school preparation program, the YMCA has transformed the Y Achievers to now include additional career and technical exposure at younger ages. Acknowledging that the traditional college track may not be the best path for all youth, this early career and technical exposure gives children the resources to consider their future and the array of different opportunities available to them.
As the YMCA expands and continues to support our children, it is also important that we, as a community, support the YMCA as well. The organization is always looking for volunteers, staff, new program ideas, and financial contributors. To find out more about the YMCA and its awesome programs you can visit their website or social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).
Thank you to the Camp Curtin Branch of the Harrisburg Area YMCA for all their efforts in our community!