Campus News Editor
Young men may have invented it, but anyone can join it.
The YMCA was founded in 1844 by 22-year-old George Williams in London, England, during the Industrial Revolution and was brought to the United Sates in 1851, where it has spread and grown across the country.
Today, the Y, the nation’s top nonprofit organization, engages almost 10,000 neighborhoods throughout the country while connecting with more than nine million children and 12 million adults each year.
The Y offers programs, services and initiatives focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, according to the unique needs of the communities it engages.
Guided by its four core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility, the Y measures success on how many lives they touch and how well they engage their communities.
The YMCA is important, not only in the U.S., but also around the world because it is community-centered, brings people together, and nurtures potential while having a local presence and global reach.
But what connects the YMCA to Springfield College and why is it important here on campus?
In 1885, The School for Christian Workers was founded in Springfield, Mass. by David Allen Reed, who was deeply interested in the training and education of workers for churches and YMCAs.
By 1890, the YMCA movement rapidly expanded, pushing the YMCA school to expand and move to its own campus. With funding, the school changed its name to the International YMCA Training School and moved its location to where it is today.
Changing the name to Springfield College in 1954, the school has gone on to graduate hundreds of YMCA professionals and volunteers who have influenced their communities through the work of their local YMCA.
Now, students can enroll in the YMCA Professional Studies minor program to help prepare them for jobs in the YMCA or other professions. The YMCA values carry on to any professional setting, and work with the Y most definitely enhances resumes.
Work through the YMCA is also vast; from camping, teen programs, childcare, fitness and aquatics; to youth work, community development, marketing, business, environmental education, arts and humanities, and other areas, there are many positions in the Y that will allow you to make the most of your interests and abilities.
The YMCA has a huge and expansive history in Springfield and through Springfield College. The Y-Club is another opportunity for SC students to get involved with the Y program on campus and enhance their core values.
Y-Club meets every Tuesday in Cheney A and B at 12 p.m. All students are welcome to join Y-Club and the YMCA Professional Studies minor. If you have any questions, contact Director Harry Rock at firstname.lastname@example.org or Erin Friedman email@example.com.
Pat Kenney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org