BENEFITING: YMCA of Greater Cincinnati
I am eternally grateful that the Y found me…….
It was a very interesting time in my life when the YMCA found me. I had been living in Akron, Ohio for about two years and was tired of working in landscaping. I ended up attending a job fair where I was drawn in by two smiling faces from the local YMCA. The University Park YMCA was the only place I applied to that day, and soon became a part of an amazing team at the Y.
While working with the Akron team, I began to develop new social skills, multiple facets of community relationships, and an enriched sense of well being. I knew I belonged here. The mission of the YMCA began to shape who I was, daily. Witnessing the sense of community at the Y was pivotal in my realization of what actually made me happy. I forged new relationships with members and staff that created growth and networking opportunities that I never dreamed possible. This inspired me to make a change in the community. A small group of friends and I began to produce events for the Akron Public school systems geared for high school students with progressive mindsets who enjoyed the positive atmosphere. Our success gained us notoriety in the mainstream entertainment market. We began to host events in partnership with the University of Akron and two nightclub venues.
As our entertainment company grew, life pressures mounted, but the YMCA always gave me full support. I worked closely with the Community Outreach Director to formulate new fundraising ideas and positive motives in which to theme our events. The YMCA helped reinforce my purpose during tough times. The positive environment at the Y gave me the confidence to reach out to television producers Joke Productions, know for several shows on MTV and VH1. That contact resulted in a shot at creating a television series!
Ultimately, I decided to pursue creative development in my hometown of Cincinnati. I was given the upmost support from everyone at the Y. I’ve since found a new home here at the Central Parkway YMCA. I’ve been able to create partnerships with other foundations, with goals of raising millions of dollars for the tri-state’s non-profits. The Y-S.P.C.A after school enrichment program at the Erich Kunzel Creative and Performing Arts Center allowed me to grasp a more cultured sense of the arts in Cincinnati. I co-direct a spoken word program Voices of Freedom with Mrs. Jori Cotton; Jori was excited to team up with the Central Parkway YMCA, as many bright lights in the community are. She currently hosts a poetry workshop weekly for our YMCA-S.P.C.A after school program at Elementz.
I look forward to furthering community outreach efforts and positive presence of the Central Parkway YMCA in Over the Rhine. As the branch ‘Membership for All’ coordinator, I’m reminded daily of the impact the YMCA has on families in need, by offering membership to a facility that prides itself on social responsibility, youth development, and healthy living. Member and community contributions make programs like “Membership for All” possible. The YMCA is one of the nation’s largest non-profit organizations. Please join our team and consider donating to the Central Parkway YMCA of Greater Cincinnati; trailblazing in our pursuit of social prosperity amongst our public peers and compendium of members.
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