The Y is a charitable organization in Central Maryland dedicated to developing the full potential of every individual through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.

Why supporting the Y matters.

The Y is a place for everyone. People of all races, ages, faiths, gender, abilities, backgrounds and incomes are welcome.

Our Commitment

At the Y, we are committed to providing family-oriented, affordable, high quality programs that lead to:

  • every child and youth deepening positive values, their commitment to service and their motivation to learn
  • every family building stronger bonds, achieving greater work/life balance and becoming more engaged with their community
  • an enhanced quality of life in the communities in which we operate

Our Values

Our programs and services are infused with our four positive character values: Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. We are committed to challenging our members, staff and volunteers to demonstrate these values.

Our Focus

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: Nurturing the potential of every child and teen

HEALTHY LIVING: Improving Central Maryland’s health & well-being

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: Giving back and providing support to our neighbors

Impacting over 350,000 Central Marylanders, the Y will provide bold leadership in advancing a holistic approach to well-being that strengthens the community’s commitment to healthy living, youth development and social responsibility. We will actively engage the community to measurably improve well-being and the value of the Y in the lives of families, individuals and communities throughout Central Maryland.

View our strategic plan to see how we will carry out this vision.

The Y in Central Maryland At-A-Glance

Serving Central Maryland Since 1853

307,591 people engage in Y programs, striving to reach their fullest potential in spirit, mind and body at 100 locations

109,079 youth nurtured and provided role models | 115,620 members pursuing health 9,000 older adults staying active | 70,000 adults reducing risk of chronic disease

8,956 children and adults take swim lessons, learning to safely enjoy the benefits of water exercise and fun

8,415 students and their families are supported in 12 grant funded Y After School enrichment programs and 10 Community Schools in economically distressed neighborhoods

6,000 children engage in Y camp and summer enrichment 1 in 4 live below the Federal poverty level and attend thanks to generous donors

4,000 volunteers help to serve our charitable mission

$19,500,000 provided annually in financial assistance and grant subsidy to children, teens, families and seniors so they can participate at the Y

Help us build a brighter future Please join us in creating a stronger community by investing in our children, families and adults. Contact President & CEO, John Hoey.

The Power of a Mentor

Now more than ever, youth are in desperate need of positive role models; someone to support them, guide them, and let them know they matter. Through a positive mentoring relationship, you can have a direct and lasting impact on a young person's life.

The Y offers two mentoring programs: Reach & Rise and Big Brothers Big Sisters at the Y. Both programs match adult volunteers to young people ages 6-18, who need the presence of responsible and caring adults in their lives. We provide training and a complimentary Y membership for you and your mentee so you can participate in the many fun and enriching opportunities at the Y. 

We accept new mentors (and mentees) everyday. If you understand the power one positive adult can have in the life of a young person, BECOME A Y MENTOR and help build the futures of Central Maryland's youth.

Reach & Rise is a series of mentoring programs where adult volunteers are trained to develop safe, healthy and significant relationships with youth to impact their lives in positive ways. All mentors must be age 21 or older and pass a background check. All mentors will receive comprehensive training before being paired with a mentee. <

One-on-One Mentoring

A year long mentoring opportunity for youth ages 6-17. Mentors and mentees meet two hours a week at a Y Center. Participate in Y activities like open swim, rock wall, and open gym, sit and talk about whatever's on your mind, get help with homework, and more.

Mentors and mentees receive a complimentary one-year youth or adult membership to the Y while in the program.

Group Mentoring

A 12-week program for youth ages 8-15. Two volunteer mentors are paired with six youth mentees. Volunteers provide group mentoring services and create safe, healthy and meaningful relationships within the group.

This program is ideal for adult mentors who may prefer volunteering with a spouse, partner or friend.

Badges for Baseball

A 13-week program for youth ages 10-14 that meets once a week in the Spring and Fall. Volunteers and law enforcement officers use sports like baseball to break down barriers and open up lines of communication.

If you are interested in volunteering as an adult mentor in Reach & Rise program (or know a child you’d like to refer to a program), please contact Rhea Butler, MSW, Regional Coordinator, at 410-615-6522 or

Big Brothers Big Sisters at the Y is Maryland's largest volunteer mentoring network with over 600 mentor/mentee matches. Through this program we make meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6-18, in Baltimore City and the five surrounding counties.

Get involved! The action that you take today will change a child's life for the better, forever.

Get details here about Big Brothers Big Sisters at the Y.

The Y is a charitable mission-driven organization dedicated to social responsibility and community building. Volunteers are critical to our mission and central to all we do. There are many ways to get involved with the Y.


The Y's Reach & Rise mentoring program is in need of positive, responsible adults who want to volunteer their time to make a difference in a young person's life. Just two hours a week is all it takes. Learn more here.

Let's Move! Outside - Baltimore

In partnership with the Department of Interior, and with support from American Express, the Y in Central Maryland is supporting youth and families in engaging more with public lands. The Let's Move! Outside initiative is all about helping young people Play, Learn, Serve, and Work outside. Here in Baltimore City we want to celebrate all the meaningful service experiences our local partners create and collaborate to further enrich the lives of youth and families with the outdoors. To learn more please email Eric Somerville at


Togetherhood is the Y’s Signature Program for Social Responsibility. This program invites Y members to lead and participate in volunteer service projects that benefit the community where they live.

The program runs through individual family centers as a partnership between a committee of members and a Y Staff Advisor. It is designed to be a simple, fun and rewarding way for members to identify ways that they can give back and support their neighbors through their own ideas, skills and energy, and the network of the Y! To make a hands-on difference in your community please contact Eric Somerville at

Special Event Volunteer

Our premier fundraising event is the Y's Annual Turkey Trot Charity 5K. Held on Thanksgiving morning, this fundraising event depends on volunteers to help make it a success. Learn more here.

Program Volunteer

You have special talents; why not share them! Volunteer to coach a sports team. Help us run our drop-in workshops. Volunteer at our Y Healthy Kids Day or in a variety of other ways, depending on your time and interests. Please contact Eric Somerville at

Community Leadership Board

The community we serve is supported by a volunteer board known as a Community Leadership Board (CLB). CLB members' primary responsibility is to help engage the community in the Y's charitable mission to support children and families in need so they may benefit from quality Y experiences they otherwise could not afford such as Y camp, preschool, before & after school enrichment and membership. Please contact Debra Einstein at

Corporate Volunteer

Corporate volunteer activities are also available and can be tailored to meet the interests of the group. Please contact Eric Somerville at

Fundamental to our mission is the idea and practice of inclusion for all regardless of race, religion, gender, age or economic circumstance. That's what The Y Campaign For a Better Us is all about -- raising funds so that Y programs and services can remain accessible to those who can’t otherwise afford them. The end result strengthens our whole community.

The Y Campaign For a Better Us gives back what you give to the Y. It's a virtuous cycle of goodness that reaps exponential rewards today and for generations to come. Please give if you can and ask for help if you need it.

You have the ability to make a life-altering, positive impact for a child or family in need. Here are just a few examples of your donations at work.

An average of …

  • $38 provides a young adult with a Y membership for one month
  • $50 supports one day of field trip travel for a teenager in Y Teen Adventure Camp
  • $215 gives a child one week of valuable learning and preparation for school in Y Preschool
  • $300 helps expose a high school student to the legislative process in the Y Youth & Government program
  • $500 keeps a school-age child safe and productively engaged after school, while their parents work, for two months in a Y After School Enrichment program
  • $780 helps a youth gain independence and self-reliance in two weeks of Y Overnight Camp
  • $1,000 helps a family hit by economic hardship stay active and engaged at the Y for one year

Every dollar donated helps to make a difference. No amount is too little. Please give as generously as you can and donate today.

Health & Wellness

  • It's a gym for everybody - Member at the Y in Arnold, April 2017
  • I just moved into the neighborhood and started attending this Y fairly recently. . . The staff are friendly and there are a TON of weight machines and free weights and a good selection of cardio equipment. They have these really nice video cycling machines and good treadmills and ellipticals. It is also a good price, i'm glad I joined! I have not used the pool but people seem to be enjoying it when I walk by. The place is clean. . . .The whole place gives me a good vibe. Usually I feel intimidated in gyms especially around the weights but I really like then layout of the machines, they are fashioned in a way that you have your own space to work out. - Member at the Y in Druid Hill, April 2017
  • My husband and I am feeling more energetic and healthier as the months roll on! - Member at the Ward Y in Abingdon, March 2017
  • I feel healthier and better emotionally about myself. - Member at the Dancel Y in Ellicott City, March 2017
  • We have been members for several years and it has consistently improved facilities and services over the years. - Member at the Y in Druid Hill, March 2017
  • When I first started coming I couldn't walk from parking lot to pool without resting three times. Now I can do it without stopping. - Member at the Ward Y in Abingdon, March 2017
  • I already have [referred friends] because of how nice the facility is and have helpful and engaging staff that work here so I love this place! - Member at The Orokawa Y in Towson, March 2017

Y Preschool

  • We have one daughter currently enrolled in the Y Preschool and one who was there for 3 years. The staff is amazing and our daughters have learned so much. Our oldest started kindergarten this year and is ahead of the class thanks to the wonderful staff at the Y. I would recommend it to any one looking for a preschool program. - Y Preschool Parent, March 2017
  • I've shopped other learning facilities and by far have found that this program is superior in its curriculum and overall cost. I have three children that currently attend this program and they have developed some amazing social skills and more importantly, some new friends. It's been a pleasure to watch them grow and have their lives enriched in a capacity that I alone could not possibly give them." - Y Chipmunks Preschool Parent, March 2017
  • Great staff and teachers, safe atmosphere. My daughter loves it here and is learning fundamental educational and social skills. - Y Preschool in Riverside Parent, January 2017
  • All teachers are very friendly and attentive. Mrs. Kimberly is very active in the classroom and engaging with all teachers. The atmosphere is friendly and constructive for the children. - Y Preschool at UMBC Parent, January 2017
  • Great mix of a school environment that is age appropriate but still fun and clean school....very professional. - Chipmunks Y Preschool Parent, January 2017

Y Before & After School

  • We have received nothing but the absolute best care since we enrolled our children. - Y Before & After School at Southgate Elementary, January 2017
  • Staff is professional, caring and takes time to focus on the children. - Y Before & After School at Robert Moton Elementary, January 2017
  • We are happy with the staff and the gym time for the boys before school. It is especially important during the winter. - Y Before & After School at Homestead Wakefield, January 2017
  • Friendly staff, organized, engaging and safe. - Y Before & After School at Churchville Elementary, Janury 2017

Y Camp

  • My daughter hates school but she sure loves camp! - 2016 Y Camp Parent
  • Our grandson enjoyed the whole summer at the Y. He met new friends and kept himself engaged during the summer. - 2016 Y Camp Grandparent
  • My children really enjoy the Y and it is a safe way to keep them out of the house for the summer. - 2016 Y Camp Parent
  • My daughter loved camp and I was really pleased with the overall experience, service and counselors...we'll be back next year. - 2016 Y Camp Parent
  • My family loves the Y, especially my daughter, she is truly loving camp because the diverse activities she participates in throughout the day. The facilities are amazing. - 2016 Y Camp Parent
  • My granddaughter thinks the camp is awesome, she can't wait to come back to camp daily, its a friendly diverse fun experience. - 2016 Y Camp Grandparent

Here are a few commonly asked questions many donors may have when considering making a gift to the Y:

Q: Why should I contribute to the Y?

A: The Y in Central Maryland is a volunteer-led, charitable organization that works collaboratively with community partners to strengthen individuals and families through quality programs and services that build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. The Y serves people of all backgrounds, ages, capabilities, and income levels, providing financial assistance to those in need.

Q: Doesn’t my membership support the Y’s philanthropic efforts?

A: No. Membership fees only cover operational expenses.

Q: Can I direct my gift to stay in my community?

A: Yes! Donors may direct their gift to support Y activities in the city or counties we serve; to Y membership assistance; to specific Y programs (such as preschool or camp), or wherever the need is greatest.

Q: How will my contribution be used?

A: Donor contributions provide financial assistance and program support enabling children, individuals and families to participate in Y life who otherwise couldn’t afford to do so. Our goal is to provide Y experiences to all those seeking one, regardless of their ability to pay.

Q: Who provides funding to the Y?

A: Our charitable funding is generated from individual and corporate donors, foundations and grants, and the United Way of Central Maryland.

Q: What other fundraising does the Y do?

A: The expansion and/or building of local Y’s is accomplished through various Y capital campaigns. These campaigns typically involve naming opportunities. For more information on capital campaigns, click here .

The Y in Central Maryland is designated as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Your contribution is tax deductible in accordance with IRS regulations. For a copy of our current financial statement, please contact us at 303 W. Chesapeake Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21204 or 443-322-9622.

Throughout of our Health and Wellness, Preschools, Head Start, Before & After School Enrichment, Swim and Sport programs, we offer asset-building programs and strategies that engage thousands of youth in a spectrum of activities that promote academic success, foster connections with family and community, and encourage healthy development and activity. These programs are based on the Search Institute’s model of developmental assets.

As defined by the Search Institute, developmental assets are the positive experiences young people need to succeed and thrive. The more assets youth have, the more likely they are to have positive attitudes towards school, healthy lifestyles and leadership potential. Our goal is to provide quality programming that intentionally increases and enriches the developmental assets present in children and youth’s lives with a strong emphasis on reinforcing the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, and promoting healthier, more active lifestyles. Through strong community partnerships, we are able to reach these youth and positively influence their lives.

For more information on how you or your organization can get involved with our programs for at-risk youth and families, please contact Derryck Fletcher at 443-322-8082.

Y Boost (Baltimore Out-of-School Time) Achievers & 21st Century Community Learning Centers

Located in some of the city’s most challenged neighborhoods, these after-school programs are attended by more than 1,000 students in elementary, middle and high schools. Academics focused on reading, writing and math, are taught by certified teachers. The Y works with multiple collaborators to provide the enrichment component of the program such as art instruction, dance, sports, and homework help.

College Gardens

This after-school and summer program for elementary, middle and high school youth is located in the College Gardens community. Youth receive academic and homework support, participate in enrichment clubs and field trips, interact with community leaders and enjoy family time at specially organized parent nights. The program collaborates with UMBC’s Shriver Center which provides service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to make an impact in the lives of young people.

The Y operates several Community Schools throughout Baltimore City Public Schools. Y staff work with a Coordinating Council to identify assets and needs in local communities and work to bring resources to the schools. Community Schools help provide students and their families with basic needs such as food, shelter and security. Without these resources, many children would be less prepared to take on the challenges of the mind and fulfill their potential.

Watch the video for a deeper understanding.

New Horizons

Among the many excellent camp programs the Y runs is New Horizons for homeless middle and high school students. The program is designed to help prevent summer learning loss, increase graduation rates, equip youth with tools to obtain employment, improve self-esteem, and build character. Youth enrolled in this program get 8-weeks of productive summer engagement. They spend their mornings receiving academic support and developing skills, like how to apply for college, how to look for a job, how to prepare for interviews, and other work force development skills. In the afternoons they receive real-world job placements and a stipend. The Y also helps make sure they have the basics for the job like soap, toothpaste and clean clothes so they can arrive at work feeling confident and cared for. Watch the video for a deeper understanding.

Super Kids Camp

In partnership with the Parks and People Foundation, the Y participates in Baltimore’s Super Kids Camp – a summer reading and literacy enrichment program . This unique city-wide program seeks to work with primary grade children who are behind in reading skills. Mornings are spent in small group reading instruction and afternoons are designed to extend literacy experiences through enrichment.