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Why the Y

Why the Y features stories about members who are inspired by the Y, staff members who help make a difference in people’s lives and innovative programs that change our community for A Better Us. Please visit the column to meet your neighbors that are part of the Y family and learn about the programming that just might make a difference in your life! Why the Y, Madison Area YMCA’s column is also featured on TAPinto.


Why the Y

  • Civics Programs for Teens at the Madison Area Y? Yes, and Lots More…

    Feb 07, 2020

    Teens Youth and Govt MT

    “The best thing that comes out of the Y’s Youth & Government and Mock Trial programs is that kids learn to think critically, practice their research and presentation skills and get used to speaking in front of other people. They overcome being shy,” says Kiana Cunningham, the Madison Area YMCA’s associate teen director who teaches both 10-week classes that provide hands-on learning experiences about leadership opportunities in civics.

    Kiana shares the excitement that teens in the Mock Trial program experience. “They become really passionate about their topics,” she says, noting that the class takes work. “They learn the necessary skills—and learn what is expected of them—and they deliver.”

    “Mock Trial really helped me a lot with being persuasive in my arguments and with public speaking,” says 12-year-old Helen Kilman who participated in the program last fall. “I practiced research skills and learned about reputable sources and not reputable sources,” says the Madison Junior School 7th grader who is a regular Washington Post reader and NPR listener. “I love doing debates. It’s really cool to be part of it and see it all in action,” she says, adding that Kiana had a big part in making the program “awesome.”

    In session now through April the Youth & Government program for 6th-12th graders helps teens develop research and critical thinking skills needed for bill writing and debate and provides opportunities to take on roles such as plaintiff, defendant and witness. The class culminates in a Presentation Day where families and friends will be invited to attend an oral and visual presentation of the bills the teens worked on. The bills are then hung up at the Y’s Boszhardt Family Teen Center located at the Y.

    Click here to continue reading.

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Ann and Betty's Story

“They’re all so kind, caring and compassionate. I feel different when I come out from when I go in. The Y picks me up. And my Betty is always my steady.”
-Ann C.

Read more of their story here.

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Sarah's Story

“My favorite part is helping the little kids whenever they need help. Second would be helping with field trips to the zoo and library.”
-Sarah J.

Read more of her story here.

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Gwen's Story

“Lots of us who work here have letters from people like this who thank the Y for making a difference in their lives both large and small. The Y is a resource in our community for everyone—including organizations and businesses.”
-Gwen, Community and Member Engagement Manager

Read more of her story here.

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Dave's Story

“This is something I was told that I would never do. They told me that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life and that I would never walk. I said, ‘Not me.’”
-Dave C.

Read more of his story here.

Maggie

Maggie's Story

“This community is affluent; but, just below the surface is another population living here that is barely getting by. They are hard-working families, many who clean homes and work in the landscape business,” Maggie said, adding, “They are so humble and grateful to receive financial assistance awards from the Y.”
-Maggie, Member Assistance Coordinator

Read more of her story here.

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Mollie's Story

“I loved swimming all of my life. I really found a wonderful place to swim at the Madison Area YMCA. There aren’t many places like this. Everyone is just so nice - It’s a wonderful pool. I could sleep here, it’s so great!” 
-Mollie, 95-year-old Madison Area YMCA member

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Nancy's Story

"Cancer puts us to the test. The Madison Area YMCA’s LIVESTRONG® at the YMCA program provided one of the answers for me – a support program so that we can thrive. Exercise, good nutrition and the Y’s open heart helped me pass with an A+”
-Nancy S.

Click here to read a LIVESTRONG at the YMCA graduate's inspirational testimonial.


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Leigh Anne's Story

"When my mom passed away, the Madison Area YMCA and my Y family gave me everything I needed. I give because everyone in the community should have the opportunity to experience the love the Y has to offer."
-Leigh Anne S.

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Stephanie's Story

"Madison Area YMCA helped me get through this change. Not only did they provide me with the emotional support, but also the financial support to allow for my children to attend the high quality programs they provide here at Kirby and the Family Center. The peace of mind they gave me is immeasurable. I am grateful for the opportunities that my children have been given and proud to be an employee for this important organization that helps so many families each day."
-Stephanie F.

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Larissa's Story

“On a friend’s recommendation, we checked out the Madison Area YMCA. From the moment we walked in, it felt like home. The staff, volunteers and members were all so welcoming that we joined that day! I was amazed at all of the wonderful programs for children and adults. My husband and I both enjoy our membership at the Y, including the fitness center and group fitness classes. Most importantly, we feel so fortunate to be able to provide our children with opportunities to grow and learn at the Y. Our daughter Abby loves getting stronger and building her muscles in gymnastics class, learning new dance moves in ballet, practicing water safety in swimming class and playing with her friends in Kids Central. Our son, Ryan, can’t wait to go to gym class every week and is equally enthusiastic about swimming class! I am proud to be a part of the Annual Campaign and to help the Y provide these opportunities to families who cannot afford it on their own.”
-Larissa W.