Our staff and volunteers will reflect and embrace the diversity that is Long Beach through coming from the same neighborhoods, speaking the same languages, having the same faiths, and celebrating the same customs. Our programs will have both breadth and depth in the way we provide services and involve people and help them through crisis.
We believe that building strong children, families, and communities requires our YMCA to constantly do outreach beyond its walls and to build trust within all segments of our communities, especially those who are disengaged.
Community Development Programs
The YMCA Youth Institute is a nationally recognized after school and summer program that focuses on youth development principals, technology skill building, leadership, service learning, college readiness and academic support. More than 300 teens are consistently enrolled at any given time. The program engages urban high school youth through teaching them the latest in digital storytelling, graphics, music production, 3D Printing, STEM activities and more.
Change Agent Productions is the graduation program for high school and college age Youth Institute participants to gain real world job skills in the technology industry. We contract video, graphic design, and technology projects for other non-profits, corporations and school districts and hire high school teens to carry out the projects being supervised by our staff. Over 140 youth take part per year in this exciting technology-based youth social enterprise.
The YMCA Cambodia Project involves our YMCA Cambodia Staff as Tour Guides for Young Professionals to visit Cambodia, do both a cultural exchange and service learning project with our partners at the Cambodia YMCA. This two week international program is a once in a lifetime experience for young professionals to make an impact in a country working with children and youth in some of the poorest communities and making a positive difference. We donate food, school supplies and money to the Cambodia YMCA Street Children’s School as a part of this project.
The YMCA Community School Program are located at Bobbie Smith Elementary and Jenny Oropeza Elementary Schools. This program brings wrap around services to children and parents attending the schools by having YMCA Community School Directors and Family Involvement Coordinators who bring services and resources to the school to support families and help children succeed academically They teach parent classes on leadership, health, advocacy, civic engagement, and youth development. With approximately 46% of students living in poverty, our youth face numerous risk factors that heighten their risk for not achieving academically. With the integration of the YMCA Community School and Community Partners, a safe place is created to help our families succeed.
The New American Welcome Center program targets newcomer immigrants with services and social supports to enable them to become more integrated and engaged in the greater society. Services offered are information and help with immigration and citizenship services, trainings on civic engagement, accessing resources and support services in their community. There are also social activities that help our families bond to each other and their newfound community.
The YMCA Family Involvement Program is designed to involve parents and families in meaningful classes and activities that focus both job skills, communication and leadership skills, advocacy for children and communities, couples counseling, child and teen development, and fun activities that families can enjoy together. More than 100 classes serve over 1,000 family members per year. The program takes place at schools throughout Long Beach Unified School District. We also teach families digital literacy so that they may assist their children in their schoolwork and success as well as access employment, healthcare, financial institutions, education, etc.