To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.
Principles which effect all that we do and say; we, being the YMCA.
Everyone knows families don't look like they used to. Only 7 percent of the nation's families fit the working dad, homemaking mom, two school-ager mold. But no matter what shape it takes, the family is still the most important structure in American Society.
All kinds if families belong at the Y. They include blended and extended, single-mom and single-dad, step-parent and grandparent. The YMCA of Greater New Orleans helps strengthen them all by providing experiences that build relationships between family members, especially between parent and child.
The Y gives families the support they need to be successful, strong, and resilient. All families feel stress, regardless of their size, shape or economic background. Adults try to be the best parents they can, but they are often stretched between work, home and the other daily pressures of life. In hundreds of ways the YMCA gives families the flexible, day-by-day support they need to deal with stresses that otherwise can lead to abusive behavior.
Diversity is a source of strength. Every person has an inherent worth and has something to contribute to the larger community. Treating one another with respect and appreciating differences fight prejudice and build cooperation. The YMCA fosters an environment where diversity is celebrated and where members, volunteers and staff members can reach their fullest potential.
The YMCA believes we all need a place to belong - a place where we genuinely care about one another; where we pull together for a common cause; where we treat each other with loving kindness, open communication and support; where we share in decisions. A community. The YMCA nurtures children, supports families and strengthens society. It's a force for hope.
As children grow into teenagers, they are finding their place in the world. Sometimes they seem older than their years. Struggling for independence, they may distance themselves from adults who seem to stereotype and misunderstand them, and even from parents and others with whom they've always been close. In fact, teens need adults more than ever.
The YMCA gives teens a safe place to call their own, whether they are hanging out after school at a teen center, celebrating with friends at a Friday-night dance, or learning to be leaders in a teen club. They test out their independence and make decisions for themselves, learning to trust themselves and to make the right choices in life. They build life skills in the deepest sense, because they learn to live by the values of compassion and forgiveness.
No matter what teens are up to at the Y, caring adults are there for them. Good role models are more crucial than ever in these years, and that's what the Y provides. Adults at the Y respect teens, and their supervision is understated enough for the young people to feel they are in charge. At the same time, they are committed to helping each teen navigate the confusing passage from childhood to adulthood. The result is that teens can recognize behavior that is destructive -- to themselves and others -- and have the self esteem to reject it.
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