About the Y
Annual Report & Strategic Plan
2018 Annual Report to the Community
Table of Contents
Beyond Our Walls
At the Y, we are committed to equity and inclusion for all. We believe everyone should have “equitable” opportunities to develop to their fullest potential and live their best lives.
While the concepts of equity and equality are related, there are important distinctions between the two. Equality is treating everyone the same, while equity is giving each individual what they need to be successful.
Unfortunately we don't all start off in the same situations, or have the same lifestyles, means, backgrounds, needs and wants.
Far too many people, especially those in underserved groups and communities, start at a disadvantage or lack equal access to resources, opportunities or support systems. So we meet people where they're at.
While our Y's services and programs welcome thousands to our branch facilities each year, our responsibility – and our impact – reaches far and deep into the communities where those who need our help the most live, work, go to school and play.
Whether it's a teen struggling with substance abuse, a defeated middle-school student reading at a 3rd grade level, a busy mom battling the onset of diabetes, or a family trying to save enough to move off the streets and into a real home....our Y is there – our programs, services and outreach is there – to meet them where they are – providing dignity, self-worth and hope that there is a better future for everyone.
In other words, well beyond our walls.
Over the past year, our Y has worked together with our community partners, to creatively provide groundbreaking programs designed to address critical issues and needs such as:
- Closing the Academic Achievement Gap: Statistics show that a large number of children from low-income environments reach kindergarten unprepared, and that they continue to fall behind in school. Our Y's highly impactful Come with Me and Power Scholars Academy programs are reaching deep into our neighborhoods to help students close the gap dramatically and ensure a future of achievement for all.
- Changing the Trajectory of Young Lives: Helping underserved youth to make good decisions at a critical period in their lives and to live healthy lifestyles, the Y's Substance Abuse Treatment program utilizes 40 counselors onsite in middle and high schools in high-risk communities.
- Leading Our Nation toward Better Health: Nationally, diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate, and that unfortunately includes Hawaii. Part of a national Y-USA preventive service project with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our Y's Diabetes Prevention Program is a proven program to lower the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes and is now a covered benefit to Medicare members.
You can read more about the life-changing impacts of these Y programs, and many more, in this 2018 Annual Report. We are grateful for the partnerships of many community organizations, joining forces to collectively lift up our community as a whole. Together, we strive to make our communities a better place for all, beyond our walls.
All young people deserve the opportunity to discover what they can achieve, under the guidance of caring adults who believe in their potential -- and grounded in the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility.
Power Scholars Academy
Now in its third year, Y Power Scholars Academy, a six-week summer academic and enrichment program, helps Central Middle School students who are challenged financially and academically, to significantly close the academic achievement gap, and to excel in high school and beyond.
A collaborative effort between Building Educated Leaders for Life, the YMCA, Central Middle School and generous supporters enabled 71 incoming 6th to 8th graders to achieve on average academic gains of 3 months in reading and 2 months in math!
Scholars and their families also soared in post-program testing for college readiness and social-emotional development:
Changing the Trajectory
Since 1961, the Kalihi Y Branch has served as headquarters for the Y’s substance abuse treatment program. In 2018, 40 counselors provided services onsite at middle and high schools in high risk communities, including the addition of Lanai High School this year.
YMCA Youth and Government
The Youth and Government program empowers students ages 11 to 17 to be changemakers in the political process. This year, 55 middle and high school students, including student delegates from Hawaii Island, learned through experience -- advocating for causes they care about, writing bills and creating their own student government. Hawaii State Legislators also provided feedback and advice on student bills and resolutions.
Youth Governor Tevita Hifo’s legislative proposal was one of only 12 selected from more than 630 submissions at the YMCA Youth Conference on National Affairs that brings together more than 600 student leaders from around the nation. Tevita’s proposal advocated for the recognition of the Hawaiian language as an official language in the United States as reparations for its overthrow.
YMCA College Camp
More than 80% of Y College Camp alumni have pursued a higher education.
High school students from underserved communities are supported to graduate and pursue higher education under the guidance of mentors. This summer, 92 student campers participated in a week-long program focused on college prep, financial aid, career mentoring and service projects at the Atherton Y and YMCA Nanakuli-Waianae College Camps.
Empowering our Young Servant Leaders
Y programs also serve as servant leadership building opportunities for our young adult leaders. This year, over 500 college student volunteers led and served in more than 20 community-based programs, positively impacting more than 5,700 underserved youth here in our State and as far away as the Philippines. While collectively, these leaders gave more than 18,000 hours of their time and passion, they all believed that they were the ones who benefited....
“The Y has not only made an exciting career and future a reality for me, but continues to provide me with opportunities to help many other young people achieve their best futures, too!”
- Jediah Arellano, Youth & Government Mentor Lead
“The Y has constantly challenged me to realize that my capabilities are endless. I am very proud and grateful to be part of an amazing team that is passionate about making a difference in our communities.”
- Diana Lopera, 2018 Atherton Y Student Board Vice President
“I saw kids light up in joy as they toured different college campuses and explored different career paths. This program helps students RISE up to their fullest potential so that they can become effective members of society someday.”
- Blessie Vergara, RISE Mentor
We help people and families build and maintain healthy habits for spirit, mind and body in their everyday lives. By helping kids, adults, families and seniors from all walks of life improve their health and well-being, we build a stronger community.
Beyond Fitness Classes
The Y is a leader in programs to help individuals and families prevent and manage chronic disease, including serious community health issues like arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease and diabetes. Our programs are research-based and designed to help each individual reach a personal best – starting where they are physically, mentally and emotionally.
Sandy was overweight, her sugar levels were close to diabetic levels and her blood pressure was dangerously high. Doctor appointments would be lectures on losing weight and exercising more.
Healthy Weight and Your Child
The YMCA Healthy Weight & Your Child program is based on the world’s largest evidence-based childhood obesity program that empowers children, ages 7 to 13, to reach a healthy weight. The program focuses on nutrition education and physical activity and involves the whole family in committing to adopting healthier habits.
Locally, our Y partners with Hawaii Pacific Health and delivers the program within our Y Branches and “beyond our walls” at Pali Momi Medical Center, Kapiolani Women’s & Children’s Medical Center and Castle Medical Center.
Eight-year-old Aurora’s pediatrician has been concerned about her weight since she was an infant. Her mom Elizabeth found the Y’s obesity management program for children a lifesaver for the whole family.
“I wanted to do something about Aurora’s health and weight before it got out of hand because habits are harder to break as she gets older and also, children can be mean,” Elizabeth says.
“Aurora loved connecting with other kids her age who are facing the same challenges that she is, and my husband and I found support among the other parents. I have noticed not just a big change in Aurora’s food choices, but more importantly, a positive change in her whole attitude towards life.”
The program also includes a Y membership for their family. Says Elizabeth: “With our busy schedules, it’s tough for our family to have quality time together. Y membership allows our family to play together, too!”
With our doors open to all, we bring together people from all backgrounds to support those in need. We take on the most urgent needs in our community and inspire a spirit of service in return.
Taking Care of Communities Here and Beyond
Atherton Y Alternative Session Break
Y college students conducted intensive week-long community service learning projects including conservation and environmental work and restoration, and health care in underserved communities. In 2018, 58 college student volunteers undertook service projects on Oahu, Hawaii Island, Molokai, Maui and even the Philippines, impacting the lives of more than 1,000 underserved people. Their experiences were life changing:
“It was back-breaking work, but the wisdom and experience were arguably worth more than the service we provided on Molokai. To show thanks, many local families made us meals fresh off the farms, played music for us, and offered hospitality for the next time any of us came to visit. The people appreciated our service as a gesture of love – and that is valued more than money.”
- Kelsea Armstrong, volunteer
“Our mission to Maui was to shadow healthcare professionals in rural areas, I saw that they don’t do what they do for the money, but rather because they deeply care for their communities. This trip gave me the perspective I need for my future as a physician.”
- Jessica Cabusog, Alternative Spring Break Maui Participant
In partnership with Rotary, the Cebu YMCA, and the Hiroshima YMCA, four Y staff and eight Atherton Y students traveled to the Philippines and fed homeless children from the slums of Cebu City, distributing more than 100 pairs of free reading glasses, and teaching youth good dental hygiene habits.
They also helped to build a health clinic and new classrooms for an elementary school of 200 students in need in the mountain town of Sibonga.
“As we cemented and painted every day, our bonds grew stronger as a team and in connecting with the culture and community of Sibonga. The kids in Sibonga reminded me to never take for granted the little things in life. Yet, what amazed me was the fact that these kids never failed to keep a smile on their faces.”
- Aime Le, Volunteer
Empowering a New Generation of Changemakers
Y-PAR (Youth Action Participatory Research) is an evidence-based youth led process that supports teens as change agents in their communities. Through community assessments and research, youth identify, develop and implement programs that address a critical need within their communities.
Ka Mala Ulu: The Growing Garden
Windward Y teens lead middle schoolers in growing vegetable and fruit gardens at Waimanalo Intermediate and Elementary school and Windward Y to promote healthy eating and responsibility. Through partnerships with the Waimanalo Co-op and Waimanalo School, students were able to sell what they grew, raising over $1,000 in funds.
Mililani Y teens have continued to work in the Wahiawa community where there is a large population of houseless individuals and families. In 2018, the teens prepared and consistently distributed 50 lunches each week – recruiting more than 70 teens in the community to help. The teens and those they served established friendships and appreciated each other as individuals.
Making our Communities Stronger – Together
More than 1,000 YMCA and community volunteers of all ages worked together in 2018 to restore and sustain the lo’i and surrounding vegetation and fruit trees of Ulupo Heiau in Windward Oahu.
Y staff, facility members, and community leaders also collaborated with area service groups to hold monthly Houseless Care Events, providing a hot shower, meals and a helping hand to help homeless families, with the goal of ending their homelessness.
These initiatives are part of the Windward Y’s Togetherhood program that connects Y participants with the community to address critical social issues. This year, our Y’s Togetherhood program was featured in a best practices exhibit at Y-USA’s national convention.
Support for those in Transition
In partnership with four transitional shelter and outreach agencies, our Central Y provided housing to 70 unsheltered individuals and families as they worked to transition to permanent housing. In 2018, more than 13,000 room nights were provided.
In addition, our Atherton Y student volunteers conducted weekly enrichment and activity sessions for resident children at I.H.S. In surveys taken, 100% of youth participants reported that they feel safe with the Y and that the program made them feel excited about their future.