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Changing lives, changing the community

The Y continually strives to make a positive difference in the communities we serve and fulfill our mission to support youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Read about life-changing experiences from people in your community.

"My daughter, Lydia Crownover, began the Job Prep Program after she had just turned 16 through the Wichita YMCA during her spring semester 2014 in anticipation of obtaining a summer job. As her mother, I can see a great growth in confidence that was especially supported through her training and work experiences." Read more. 

"When my son was 4, he was enrolled in a gymnastics class at the Y. He learned all of the basics that a 4-year-old learns including how to roll. I also noticed an increase in his coordination. But the biggest benefit was not evident until a few months later." Read more.

The Greater Wichita YMCA announced the Reach & Rise™ Mentoring Program this past spring and the first round of volunteers just finished training to become mentors!

Jason Beshears was among the first round of mentors to go through training this summer. Jason is an active Downtown Y member and a Master Sergeant in the Air National Guard. Jason has a big heart and is committed to giving back to local youth. He believes he is a better person today because of the positive role models he had growing up. Jason wants to be that same difference in a young person’s life.

If you are interested in inspiring a better future for a Greater Wichita area youth please consider mentoring through the Reach & Rise Mentoring Program. More information and mentor application can be found at www.ymcawichita.org/mentor.

At the beginning of the year, the Giebler family began taking steps to improve their health. In the past, Polly had tried on and off again to lose weight and get healthy on her own. This year, it was decided to make it a family affair and they have all made great strides together. Read more.

"We were fat and happy and gradually becoming couch potatoes without realizing it. During a visit from our son and daughter-in-law, we were driving past the Northwest Y and our daughter-in-law commented, 'If we had a Y like this in Las Cruces (New Mexico), I would be there every day.' Unknowingly, she had planted a ‘seed.’" Read more. 

My name is Joyce Dixson. Volunteering, to me, is not an option! Helping others is what it is all about. Volunteering is a part of sharing and caring for others. It’s part of your self-worth. When I help others or do something that will help make my community a better place to live in, that’s my reward and I feel good about it. Read more.

“In March 2011, my total cholesterol was 200 and my triglycerides were 102. One year later at our Healthy Me! screening my cholesterol was up to 231 and triglycerides up to 187." Read more. 

Vernon, 66, was diagnosed with a life-changing disease in 2010. After discovering he had cancer, he found himself facing dozens of chemotherapy and radiation sessions, five operations and three months in surgical ICU. He couldn’t walk, much less feed or take care of himself.  After several months of physical therapy, he had to learn to start over. Read more. 

Trips should be planned—research and anticipation heighten the experience. But some journeys are unexpected, unwelcome interruptions. Cancer is one of those journeys. It is jolting, consuming, and often frightening. A path unwelcome and isolating. A friend urged me not to waste the experience, but to experience it fully. I thought about that often as I told friends and family about my diagnosis. The grief was tangible in each conversation, multiplying at every telling. My temptation was to retreat from others to avoid their pain. Read more.

I am very excited to be in the YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program. I have learned how to lose weight safely in order to stay healthy. I have been a "dieter" all of my life and have never learned to eat healthy portions and incorporate daily exercise into my busy life. Read more.

Chyann has been struggling in many ways since she lives with us "grandparents". Not understanding why her parents do not want her to live with them, her friends not living near us... there is not much interaction for her that is positive. Read more...

A mother and daughter shake up their relationship and shed pounds with YMCA group exercise classes. Read more...

12…11…10…9… Those four numbers have a whole new meaning to me. Saturday, December 11 of 2010 at 9am, I had a stroke at the age of 49. Read more...

When my trainer asked me to write something about my experience with MobileFit, I was very excited to be given the opportunity to inform others of the benefits of this new program offered at the Y. Read more...

I recently joined the YMCA as part of a concerted effort to get myself in shape, and cannot stress enough how much MobileFit has helped me in my quest. Read more...

My seven year old daughter has been riding horses for three years. Her 30-year-old gelding Indy was a great "babysitter" and carried her safely around our house, down the road, and out into the field. Read more...

Working at the YMCA has changed my life. Two years ago when I was hired I was going through a really tough time in my life. Read more...

For anyone like me, weight has been a constant battle and a persistent worry. My worst nightmares were of scales and full-length mirrors. Read more...

My son Keenan has been in swimming since April 2010. I was starting to doubt if he was making progress until here recently. Read more...

I had a friend ask me to join her in the Storm the Dam 5K Run (hosted by the El Dorado YMCA at the El Dorado State Park). I thought she was “NUTS.” Read more...

My YMCA story is about my daughter, Alicia. When she was 5 yrs. old I signed her up for gymnastics class at the East Branch. Read more...

In February of 1985 I was run over by a large Buick (while at work), and was subsequently in traction for six weeks. Read more...

Like many others, I joined the Y to get back in shape and lose a few pounds. Read more...

From an early age, our daughter demonstrated great promise in her physical strength. Read more...

If I could possibly sum up everything that YMCA Job Prep is and what it does… it is life-changing. It is the beginning of a bright independent future for youth. Read more...

"Mommy, Mommy!" yelled my then 3-year-old son at the top of his lungs as we sat in a booth having dinner at Village Inn. "What?" I said. "That lady over there is fat just like you!" he replied. Read more...

At 65 years old, I had always felt that other than being overweight, I was healthy. Man was I wrong! Like most people I just didn’t understand what very poor eating habits and extra weight does to your body. Read more...

I was both excited and terrified of running this long race. I wanted this challenge for myself, because I wanted to prove to myself that I am a strong person and no one, no one could take this achievement from me. Read more...

Marvin and I have known each other casually for more than 28 years through church and choir. In fact, he sat next to my late husband in choir for many years. He died four years ago; Marvin’s wife died last year. Marvin and I re-connected in May... Read more...