The YWCA Family Resource Center in Woodlawn was recently filled with laughter and smiles as 17 teenagers celebrated their graduation from the Summer CREW program, a partnership between the YWCA Central Alabama and the Woodlawn Foundation.
As the graduates entered the room, the growth that had taken place in these teenagers was evident. In eight short weeks, these young men and young women who initially entered the program with no expectations had blossomed into hard-working and responsible young adults equipped with valuable life skills that will serve them well for years to come.
Over 100 young professionals recently gathered atop the Kress Building to engage in "uncomfortable cocktail conversation" at the YWCA's inaugural YWhisper event.
YWhisper is a series of events designed to engage Birmingham young professionals and to highlight and promote the programs and services of the YWCA.
Homelessness, domestic violence and racism are uncomfortable subjects. It is the responsibility of the young leaders in this community to not only speak up, but to speak out about these important community issues.
For three weeks during the summer, the YWCA staff greeted three very excited groups of teenagers who, with sleeping bags and suitcases in tow, made the YW their home for one week. This summer, 96 local youth participated in YouthServe's annual Urban Service Camp.
Homelessness, domestic violence and racism are uncomfortable subjects that are often avoided in society, especially in social situations. In an effort to encourage open dialogue about these critical problems that are plaguing the Birmingham community, the YWCA Central Alabama will be hosting its inaugural YWhisper event on Wednesday, July 18th.
YWhisper is an event designed to engage Birmingham young professionals and others and to highlight and promote the programs and services of the YWCA - it's "not your typical cocktail conversation."
The importance of summer enrichment is becoming more and more important to the children that the YWCA serves. Over the past year, the YWCA has participated in a citywide workgroup sponsored by Belk and the Summer Learning Institute to determine summer needs, strengths and develop a work plan. This research indicated that children experience a learning phenomenon called "Summer Slide." This means that children who do not maintain their academic skills through the summer experience a loss. This is especially concerning for children who may already be behind.
Summer is in full swing in YWoodlawn and the housing staff and AmeriCorps members at the Family Resource Center are working cooperatively with the Woodlawn Foundation to host the Summer CREW program that is providing work training and enrichment opportunities for our YWoodlawn teens age 14-18.
Almost halfway through her summer internship with the YWCA Central Alabama's Social Justice department, Alex Lupo, a rising senior at Birmingham-Southern College (BSC), has been given a firsthand glimpse into the services that the YWCA provides to the community.
During the Thanksgiving season we often see pictures of the cornucopia - the "horn of plenty" overflowing with fruits and flowers and grains. It reminds us to be thankful for the abundances in our lives.