YMCA Hosts Virtual Events for Teens During COVID-19 Crisis
HOUSTON, TX – YMCA of Greater Houston continues to support the community by providing engaging virtual activities and resources for Houston’s middle school and high school teens during a time of confusion, anxiousness, boredom, and loneliness. The Y Teen L.I.F.E. (YTL) program is offering free virtual “power hour” chats that provide a visual outlet for teens to ask questions, receive helpful tips and tools, chat with friends, and hear from special guests. Additionally, the program is hosting Friday night karaoke, teen town halls with Houston community leaders, cooking classes with chefs, fitness and sports classes, and a special teen prom.
“We launched our first ‘power hour’ virtual event with 30 high school teens and when they were asked what the number one thing was they needed from the Y right now, they expressed exactly what we’re able to offer – these type of open forum calls where they’re able to ‘just be real and talk’ on a regular basis. This is something they not only want, but need,” states Sherry Bernard, Executive Director of Social Responsibility, YMCA of Greater Houston. “They were all very excited to hear the voices and see the faces of their YTL family in real time. After coming together for just one hour, they left the conversation feeling grateful for technology, the ability to connect with friends, feeling safe and appreciative for a time to pause and redirect their lives.”
In 2019, the Y Teen L.I.F.E. program served more than 10,000 teens and has received overwhelming support from the Houston community. Recently, the Houston Texans gave a $50,000 gift to support the YMCA of Greater Houston’s work through this COVID-19 crisis. A portion of those funds are going to support the Y’s work with teens.
“Through memberships and generous gifts, we are able to continue, modify and enhance our services for communities during this unprecedented time,” states Stephen Ives, President and CEO, YMCA of Greater Houston. “Y Teen L.I.F.E. is a one-of-a-kind program for teens that provides yet another reason for families to ‘Stay with the Y,’ by delivering leadership, inspiration, fellowship, and educational opportunities to ensure Houston’s teens feel seen, supported and loved while they navigate this ‘new’ normal.”
For middle school and high school teens that are interested in participating in the Y Teen L.I.F.E. program and events, please visit the schedule www.ymcahouston.org/VirtualYMCA or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All virtual classes and activities are available live or on-demand here: www.youtube.com/user/YMCAHouston.
For the most up-to-date information from the YMCA of Greater Houston and their efforts including food distribution, child care for essential workers, virtual fitness, and educational resources, please visit www.ymcahouston.org or follow the organization on Facebook @YMCAHouston.
Founded in 1886, today the Y remains committed to the health of more than half a million people in Greater Houston who learn, grow and thrive through programs and services at our 25 centers. Strengthening community is our cause. Together, we connect active, engaged Greater Houston Area residents to build a better us.