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.

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 is, and always will be, dedicated to developing healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. Every day, our impact is felt when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a mentor inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.

In 2014, together with our wonderful volunteers, donors and many friends, we accomplished so for our cause.

Youth Development

  • Over 4,000 kids streamed into more than 20 Y Camp and summer learning sites across Central Maryland. About 25% of these kids were only able to participate due to the generous support of our Give Every Child a Chance donors and funders.
  • 130 high school students from across the state participated in Youth & Government, learning to run our state government, arguing bills, electing leaders and demonstrating what democracy at its best is all about.
  • After months of planning and collaboration, we doubled our Head Start work in Baltimore City as part of a new city-wide strategy to provide comprehensive services to the most economically challenged young children and their families. The expansion allows us to reach 1,338 children in 26 Head Start locations in both the city and county. Another six "traditional" Y Preschools serve 600 young children and families across the region.
  • We were awarded four new Community Schools grants, bringing the total number of Y Community Schools to nine and total number of students served in Y community Schools to over 5,700.
  • 106,345 youth across Central Maryland participated in Y programs that help them succeed in school and in life.

Healthy Living

  • Over 12,851 runners and 234 sponsors participated in our annual 2015 Y Turkey Trot Charity 5k, helping us raise over $500,000 to help Give Every Child a Chance.
  • 103,801 people participated in assuring their health & well-being through their Y memberships.
  • 24,314 older adults stayed active and connected through Y membership and programs.
  • 8,956 children and adults tooks swim lessons, learning to safely enjoy the benefits of water exercise and fun.

Social Responsibility

  • Orioles All Star Center Fielder Adam Jones served as Honorary Chair of our Give Every Child a Chance Annual Giving campaign, helping us rasie a record $1.5 million, impacting over 5,470 children and families.
  • $8,924,969 was awarded in new grants supporting youth and families.
  • 80 homeless teens successfully completed the Y New Horizons II summer program, learning life and work skills with all the safety, support and camaraderie needed to help set these brave young people on life-changing paths.
  • Y Summer Readers at Elmer A Hendersen, A Johns Hopkins Partnership School, increased proficiency in reading above the national average for students participating in this program.
  • The Togetherhood volunteerism program was launched providing food to seniors who have custody of their grandchildren.
  • 4,348 volunteers helped to serve our charitable mission

All together, 291,210 lives were impacted by a Y experience in 2014.

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. If you understand the power one positive adult can have in the life of a young person, and if you have just two hours a week to spare, then you can be that someone. BE A MENTOR and help build the futures of Central Maryland's youth.

Reach & Rise is a Y mentoring program that matches adult volunteers to young people who need the presence of reliable, responsible and caring adults in their lives. The Y provides all the necessary tools and resources needed:

  • Comprehensive training
  • Hundreds of Y activities and events for you and your mentee to participate in
  • FREE one-year youth or adult membership to the Y while in the program

All activities take place within a Family Center Y or Y-staffed event or program. You can swim with your mentee, play cards at the Y, help your mentee with homework, do whatever productive, healthy activity meets your interests, and do it all in the safe and comfortable environment of your nearest family center Y or Y program site.

Mentors receive ongoing support and supervision from Y staff who are trained family therapists or social workers. The families of the mentees are also included in the mentoring process, so all parties are engaged and working towards a common goal.

If you fit the profile of an adult volunteer mentor, we ask that you give Reach & Rise a try.

  • An adult who is ready to be a friend, counselor, role model, supporter, and guide
  • Dependable, consistent and responsible adult who wants to share new interests and experiences with a youth
  • An understanding adult who can listen and respect different points of view and empathize with a young person’s struggles

To be a Reach & Rise mentor is to give the greatest gift imaginable – your heart! What you get in return is priceless:

  • Personal satisfaction from making a difference in a young person’s life, devoting your time and sharing your strengths
  • Increased regard and respect for people from different cultures and backgrounds
  • A sense of belonging to your community
  • Lasting memories and a special bond that warms the heart
  • Free one-year adult membership to the Y while in the program

Youth in Reach & Rise have not been identified as being a threat; they are merely young people who need the support, guidance and interest of a caring adult. Reach and Rise mentees may include:

  • Diverse ethnic & socio-economic backgrounds
  • At-risk youth dealing with low self-esteem, social isolation, family problems, peer conflicts, poor academics, poor decision-making, etc.
  • Youth referred to Reach & Rise by family, friends, counselors, teachers, Y programs, family resource centers, mental health agencies, community agencies, etc.

The benefits a Reach & Rise mentee receives are also priceless:

  • Positive and consistent relationship with a caring adult
  • Increase in self-esteem, decision-making skills, school performance, and healthy interpersonal relationships
  • Experience of positive, pro-social and healthy activities at family center Y’s with an adult
  • Lasting memories and a special bond that warms the heart
  • Free one-year youth membership to the Y while in the program

To be a volunteer mentor , all you need is two hours a week and a caring heart. Other requirements include:

  • Age 23 or older
  • Pass a fingerprint security screening
  • Complete 21+ hours of comprehensive training to understand cultural/social development, mental health issues, risk factors, and to learn ways to engage in positive, fun activities at the Y and communicate/relate to youth
  • Meet with your mentee two hours a week for one year

Requirements to participate in Reach & Rise as a mentee include:

  • Youth ages 6 – 18
  • Resident of Baltimore City or Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, or Howard County
  • Family/guardians who are committed to Building Futures

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

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.

Mentoring

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.

Togetherhood

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.

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.

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 & afterschool enrichment and membership. Please contact LeslieTinati.

Corporate Volunteer

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

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

  • I really enjoy all the class the Y has to offer, because of the class selection I am finally able to start loosing weight. - Member at the Y in Arnold, March 2016
  • I do get a lot out of my Y membership. I enjoy seeing friends at the Y. There are staff and instructors who are very friendly, helpful, and supportive. - Member at the Y in Catonsville, March 2016
  • I have already recommended the Y to friends. good value for families. Also, you do not get judged for being overweight. - Member at the Y in Catonsville, March 2016
  • We've been so pleased with the Y and everything is has to offer to us and our young children. The staff are kind & courteous & helpful, and the new facility is beautiful! - Member at the Y in Catonsville, March 2016

Y Preschool

  • The staff is friendly. The teachers are great with our child, his development has been noticeably improving the facility is clean and is run very professionally. - Y Preschool in Riverside Parent, March 2016
  • The staff is great with my child, everyone is always happy to see us. My child has grown and learned so much while attending the Y. - Y Preschool in Riverside Parent, March 2016

Y Before & After School

  • The Before Program has been wonderful for my son and accommodating to my work schedule. - Y Before & After School at Runnymede Elementary, January 2016
  • Love the socialization extended learning and awesome support! - Y Before & After School at Runnymede Elementary, January 2016
  • The staff provides numerous engaging and interesting activities for my child while also offering guidance. The staff set a great example for my son and he loves attending each day. - Y Before & After School at Catonsville, January 2016

Y Camp

  • My kids love the camp and the counselors - they are getting to spend a lot of time outdoors and connecting with other children. - 2015 Y Camp Parent
  • Very positive experience! They come home exhausted everyday and excited to return. - 2015 Y Camp Parent
  • All the camp counselors are really friendly, and very patient with the children. Ms. Vanessa has only been kind to my child, and her activities are fun for the children, and my son loves coming everyday! - 2015 Y Camp Parent
  • I love how your program allows kids to be kids again. Technology is great, but there's something to be said for simply playing games and being active. - 2015 Y Camp Parent
  • A fun-filled and educational camp. She is enjoying herself. - 2015 Y Camp Parent

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 Reach & Rise Mentoring Program

The Y Reach & Rise Mentoring Program matches adult volunteers to young people who need the presence of reliable, responsible and caring adults in their lives. The Y provides mentors with all the necessary tools and resources needed, including comprehensive training, hundreds of activities at Y centers or Y staffed events and programs for mentors and mentees, and a free Y membership while participating in the program. For more information on this mentoring program, click here.

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.

Fit N fun

Childhood obesity has become such a serious public health crisis that the CDC now predicts that without dramatic interventions, the next generation could become the first in history to live shorter lives than their parents. Fit 'n Fun, a partnership between the Y in Central Maryland and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is a research -based, fun exercise, education and nutrition program intended to impact this alarming trend in Central Maryland. Enrolled children are pre- and post- tested for various indicators of physical fitness and are given homework which engages the whole family in thinking about diet and food choices.

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.