YMCA announces return of free Teen Membership for summer

May 18, 2024
Eastern Shore Family YMCA

Creating Safe Space and a Network of Support for Local Teens

For a third summer, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads opens its doors to teens at no cost.

[CHESAPEAKE, VA – May 15, 2024]  The YMCA of South Hampton Roads has announced the return of its free teen summer membership. Since 2022, the Y has provided more than 7,500 teens access to its 21 family centers, gyms and pools as well as opportunities to participate in clubs and activities that help youth stay active and build positive relationships with peers.

“The future of our community depends on the success of our youth,” says Jamie Childress, YMCA of South Hampton Roads vice president of youth development. “The Y gives teens a positive outlet for their time and boundless energy when school is out, and provides a safe place to improve their physical and mental health.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of teens reporting poor mental health is increasing with 42% feeling sad or hopeless and 22% reporting thoughts of suicide. Physical activity and positive relationships can protect a teen’s mental health.

Parents and guardians can learn more and register a teen on the Y’s website beginning May 15, 2024.

“Free teen memberships foster inclusivity by removing financial barriers that may otherwise limit access to such opportunities,” says Dr. William Brooks, YMCA volunteer and youth advocate. “Regardless of socioeconomic background, every teenager deserves to participate in enriching activities that inspire growth and resilience.”

Summer Teen Memberships are funded by the generosity of donors and local companies that understand the critical need to keep teens and communities safe. The Y provides an easy way for individuals and businesses to Sponsor-A-Teen and ensure every teen has access to a summer membership at the Y.

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