President's Message

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Dear friends,

Summer is in full swing, and for many of our community’s youth this means enjoying a host of constructive and enriching activities at their local YMCA. This is the time of year when kids are expanding their horizons by developing new interests, learning new skills and making lifelong friends in one of our summer camps. Involvement in these types of programs is critical in keeping children active and healthy, while also developing social skills, finding positive role models and feeling a sense of belonging. If you have set foot in one of our Ys lately, you have definitely seen the positive impact being made every day; and for some, these experiences would not be possible without the generosity of our donors! 

We believe children deserve the support, guidance and encouragement to be who they are and discover who they can become. And beyond summer camp … traditional, tried-and-true programs like our gymnastics and swim teams, and our youth sports leagues and clinics help children develop important life skills. Our youth sports programs provide opportunities for thousands of youth to cultivate the values, character and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and education achievement. When children join a team, they are learning so much more than the technical aspects of the sport – they are learning teamwork, respect, responsibility and sportsmanship. The lessons learned in our youth sports programs are something that youth will carry with them throughout their lifetimes.  

It is also critically important to find opportunities for teens in our community to continue to build on their problem solving and relationship skills, while gaining the tools they need to socialize and develop supportive friendships. All too often we see the tragedies related to teens that do not feel connected to the people around them. Programs like our Teen Leaders Club and Teen Achievers serve as catalysts for growth during these often-challenging teenage years. Our Y Teen Achievers program provides at-risk teens with intensive academic assistance, adult mentors and job-shadowing opportunities. Our Y Teen Leaders Club is a leadership program that provides teens with an opportunity to develop social skills, build self-confidence and become leaders of tomorrow.  Involvement in programs like these today, prepare youth and teens to become well-rounded, productive members of society as they grow into responsible adults.  

Again, these programs would not be possible without the support of our generous members, volunteers and donors, who during our 2022 Annual Campaign personally contributed over $1.63 million! These funds are reinvested directly back into our local community in the form of membership and program scholarships – which offer kids and families low or no cost access to all that the Y has to offer. By giving to the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, you are changing lives and strengthening the community. Thank you for your continued support of these programs!  

With appreciation, 

Matt Mitchell
President & CEO