Y be strong!


Annayexy Malo, Staff Writer

The Y-Strong girls program is dedicated to providing useful tools to empower young women to create a positive environment, make healthy choices, develop self- awareness, be independent, and community involvement.

The program is for girls who are 13-18 and enrolled in middle school or high school. If you are a part of the program at the YMCA, you can get a free membership, which is recommended but not required. It helps young girls to stand up for themselves when they are in an uncomfortable situation. As a member, we talk about a lot of different issues that young girls go through such as depression, self-doubt, and much more. It helps all of us to know and learn more about each other’s struggles and to keep an open communication when feeling any type of way.

In this program, we learn how young girls everywhere go through similar situations and it helps to build strong bonds and also we help each other out. The program includes mentoring opportunities, special events, community service projects, creative arts, field trips and a guest speaker series. We do a lot of special events to welcome our community and bring everyone together.

In my experience, I’ve been attending this program for almost two years and it’s been amazing. I learned how to accept myself, such as my struggles, and to also give back to the community which is one of my main priorities. In this program, it’s fun because you do a lot of event planning and volunteer to help others. It’s spending quality time together with other club members which makes a difference. During the holidays, we do gift wrapping for two days before Christmas and then we do Toys for Tots too. This brought the community together and it was so heartwarming. It helps a lot of young girls to forget their troubles and learn new things instead of making poor choices. Not a lot of YMCAs have this program but we really want to make it big, because young girls should take advantage and most of all have fun.

If you want to join, girls should just go to the front desk of the City Heights, YMCA on the corner of Fairmont and El Cajon. They will give you paperwork for personal information that you fill out with your parents.

“The program aims to provide a safe space for girls to have real conversations, outside of the academic ones they have in school. It also aims to be fun and allow the girls to have time for themselves, that they may not otherwise have with school,working, taking care of siblings and responsibilities at home,” said program manager Lauren Holt.  “We also try to give you guys access to new experiences, job ideas, career goals and much more.”

I can say that is program shaped me to be a bbetter person and if girls want to join, it’s a lot of commitment.