Encouraging teens to Take On Summer, YMCA of Delaware is offering free summer memberships for those ages 12 to 17.
Dajour Jones who has been a part of the program for four years at the Bear/Glascow YMCA is excited to return.
“I love it,” Jones said. “In the part of Delaware that I live I didn’t really have friends like that before the program. When I went to this program I got to interact with a variety of different children.”
Jones said that spending time in the pool, playing games and going on trips with other people his age built a comradery that was really important to him.
The memberships start June 15 and will include access to the YMCA fitness facilities and pools, as well as in-person and virtual activities including workforce development, leaders in training, youth government, black achievers and teen nights.
The Y wants the free memberships to help Delaware’s youth develop through positive experiences, especially as the pandemic that isolated many people is easing.
“The last year has been a challenging one for all of us, especially our children and teens. It is more important than ever that we keep our young people engaged in positive experiences, and we can do that in a healthy and safe environment at the Y,” said Deborah Bagatta-Bowles, CEO. “Providing opportunities for youth is at the heart of our mission.”
She said Take On Summer is designed to help cultivate values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement.
Jones said that his favorite part of the program is the trips that the group would go on, especially to Wells Fargo Center and the Lincoln Financial Field. Jones also quite enjoyed the community outreach that the group has done, which taught him the importance of giving back.
“I’ve gotten a lot of maturity out of it. I’ve gotten a lot more balanced and caring,” Jones said. “We’ve picked up trash and things like that for the community. It’s made me a better person overall.”
Here’s where to sign up:
Bear-Glasgow Family YMCA – (302) 836-9622 or email@example.com
Brandywine YMCA – (302) 478-9622 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Central YMCA –(302) 254-9622 or email@example.com
Dover YMCA –(302) 346-9622 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sussex Family YMCA – (302) 296-9622 or email@example.com
Walnut Street YMCA – (302) 472-9622 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Family YMCA – (302) 709-9622 or email@example.com
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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