The Capital District YMCA welcomes everyone, which is why our programs, services and initiatives are so wide ranging. We inspire kids to realize their potential, prepare teens for college and career, provide opportunities for families to bond and support people of all ages and backgrounds to be healthier in spirit, mind and body. We serve our community through our four pillars.
Racial Equity and Inclusion
As an anchor in the Capital District, the Y is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, knowing that these efforts create better opportunities for all. In the critical role as community advocate and partner, the Y is uniquely positioned to bring our community together. We are committed to bringing people with diverse backgrounds and experiences together to listen, learn, and share through programs like the Black and Latino Achievers, open community forums to discuss race and inequities, and by providing health and wellness programs to our immigrant and refugee population.
The CDYMCA works closely with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants to provide programming to refugees and immigrants in our community including yoga, swim classes, wellness programming at the Healthy Living Center, and camp. We have partnerships with Sage College and the Refugee & Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus, Inc. to provide more services across the Capital Region. We offer both virtual and in-person programming for our Black and Latino Achievers, welcoming students from all backgrounds, and helps them develop skills, raise their academic standards, graduate from high school and focus on career goals.
All kids have potential. At the CDYMCA, we work every day to help them achieve personal and educational goals. Each year, thousands of children and teens build skills and confidence as they explore new interests and passions through CDYMCA programs. Leadership and academic enrichment programs—including Youth and Government and college preparation—along with our dedicated efforts to close the academic achievement gap for low-income youth ensure that every child has an opportunity to envision and pursue the best possible future.
Thousands of children across the Capital Region attended our camps, after-school programs, vacation club, and early childhood care centers, providing affordable and enriching programming for children. We provide scholarships to countless families around the Capital District for childcare including camp. Through our Youth and Government program, hundreds of students from across the state gather in Albany to use their thoughts, voice, and actions to grow and contribute as productive members of society. We work with Girls on the Run , empowering young women by building confidence, kindness, and decision making skills through health and wellness. We have a partnership with the Shred Foundation which works to introduce youth in local, rural, and, urban areas to snowboarding, and to open their eyes to the opportunities and professional growth it provides. We brought back programming including youth basketball, strength training, and more.
In 2021, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans were food insecure, equating to over 38 million Americans, including almost 12 million children. Our communities are experiencing new levels of food insecurity. The rising cost of living has led to a greater demand for food and basic necessities.
Our hunger relief programs play a pivotal, year-round role in ensuring children have healthy meals and snacks to help them reach their full potential. We supported and organized food drives for the Albany’s South End Cafe, the Schoharie Food Pantry, Schenectady’s Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Guilderland Food Pantry, Schenectady’s St. Madeleine Sophie Church, the Altamont Food Pantry, the Voorheesville-New Scotland Food Pantry, and Troy’s Unity House and Oakwood Community Center Food Pantries to ensure no family goes in need of food in the Capital District. Additionally, over 300 students received school supplies and new clothes through our Running Start program to start the school year feeling confident and prepared.
Living healthy is about spirit, mind, and body at every age and stage, no matter the financial background. We provide essential services for those dealing with chronic and life-threatening illnesses including Pedal for Parkinson’s classes, fostering relationships to improve the quality of life of Parkinson’s disease patients and their caregivers. We have brought back many of our in-person health and wellness classes, while continuing to offer virtual options through Y-360.
We hold monthly events for our Circle of Champs families, our program which aims to improve the quality of life for children who’ve been touched by a life-threatening illness. Our Circle of Champs volunteers provided opportunities for families to connect through activities both virtually and in-person including visits to Indian Ladder Farm, a ValleyCats baseball game, and an outdoor movie night at Adventure Camp.