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Our Focus


The Y is a powerful association of men, women and children joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. We believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. That’s why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause. Every day we work side-by-side with our neighbors in 10,000 communities to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.


Every day, we take on the challenges that will shape our communities’ futures—challenges like the academic achievement gap, childhood obesity, and the diabetes epidemic.

We advance our cause by focusing on three priorities in every community we touch:

Youth Development

We believe that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve, under the guidance of adults who care about them and believe in their potential. Whether helping toddlers learn their first words or preparing high schoolers for college success; getting kids excited about sports or local government; making memories at camp or afterschool—we help young people form healthy habits, develop their skills and build strong relationships.
Our intent is to nurture social-emotional, cognitive and physical development through holistic youth programming, experiences and supports.

We want:
  • Youth in Y programs to demonstrate improvement in the skills needed for successful living
  • Youth in Y programs to demonstrate improvement in academic proficiency, from birth to career
  • Ys to incorporate a holistic approach to development in their youth-serving programs
  • Ys to advocate for making youth development a priority at the local, state and national levels

Healthy Living

We know that health and well-being are all about balance. That’s why we help people of all ages achieve their individual health goals and bring their families closer together. We give people the knowledge, inspiration and support to stay active, eat healthy and prevent or manage chronic diseases, and we provide them with opportunities to connect with others and get involved with their communities. It all adds up to greater health and well-being to enjoy the goodness of life in spirit, mind and body.

Our intent is to lead the transformation of health and health care from a system largely focused on treatment of illnesses to a collaborative community approach that elevates well-being, prevention and health maintenance.

We want:
  • People to achieve their personal health and well-being goals
  • People to reduce the common risk factors associated with chronic disease
  • The healthy choice to be the easy, accessible and affordable choice, especially in communities with the greatest health disparities
  • Ys to emphasize prevention for all people, whether they are healthy, at-risk or reclaiming their health
  • Ys to partner with the key stakeholders who influence health and well-being

Social Responsibility

Behind everything we do is a profound commitment to bridging the gaps that divide people in our communities. With our doors open to all, we bring together people of all ages and backgrounds. With our members, volunteers, staff and partners, we take on the most urgent needs in our communities, bringing our cause to the people and neighborhoods that need us most. We also work to inspire a spirit of service in everyone we touch. From children to seniors, we help people embrace their responsibility to their communities.

Our intent is to activate resources and engage people from diverse populations for individual and collective action.

We want:
  • People to give their time, talent and treasure in support of community needs
  • Diverse, underserved and isolated communities to feel supported by Ys
  • Ys to support policies and regulations that strengthen the well-being of communities
  • Ys to convene and collaborate to develop local, state, national and global solutions that address key issues facing communities
  • Ys to model the principles of diversity and inclusion in their leadership, staff, programs and strategies