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News & Events

Building a Strong Foundation

December 7th, 2020

Charlene and her husband are essential workers in central Ohio who were called back to work shortly after COVID-19 struck. The YMCA Hilltop Educare Center, where their daughter was enrolled, became an emergency pandemic center and was able to continue providing safe, affordable, quality care that provided stability for the family.  According to the center’s…

Ensuring Students Success

December 7th, 2020

Genesis says he was introverted and preferred staying home before he joined the Columbus Urban League’s I Am My Brother’s Keeper (IAMBK) program four years ago. But Lorenzo, his IAMBK mentor, recognized him as a natural born leader who needed nurturing and opportunities. The program provided just that and more for Genesis, who will soon…

Fighting Hunger

December 7th, 2020

Located in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood, NNEMAP has expanded its reach and hours due to the growing need brought on by the pandemic. The pantry currently serves people six days a week from any ZIP code in central Ohio. Roy Clark, the Executive Director of NNEMAP, says that like most nonprofits, the pantry has experienced declining…

Providing Safe Shelter

December 7th, 2020

The pandemic brought many unknowns for the YMCA’s Shelter Services staff. According to Shameikia Smith, the program’s executive director, her employees were concerned for the future of the people they served, as well as the future of the organization. Despite their worries, they sprung into action immediately, setting up five temporary shelters where guests were…

Shadena’s Story

September 26th, 2019

Shadena always loved school and loved to learn. She dreamed of obtaining her college degree, but found it impossible to balance everything when she became a single mother. She withdrew from college, with the hope that she could return someday. Today, at age 39, Shadena is a full-time student at Ohio Dominican University and has…

Donna’s Story

September 11th, 2019

Donna faced enormous challenges when she decided to raise her deceased sister’s children in addition to her own. A single mom who had just launched her own catering business, she had unlimited determination and love but limited resources. “I know what it’s like to feel rejected. I know what it’s like to not have what…

Braylon’s Story

September 11th, 2019

Jim and Molly have opened their hearts and home to numerous children. Four of their six kids have joined the family through adoption, including Braylon. At 16 months old, Braylon didn’t make eye contact, pull up, crawl or speak. Jim and Molly knew he was not where he should be developmentally so they set out to…

Alphonso’s Story

September 23rd, 2019

Alphonso couldn’t imagine a future beyond the drugs and violence he saw in his neighborhood. He was angry with everyone and everything, and was regularly suspended from school. At one point, Penny, Alphonso’s mom, almost gave up on him. “I always told him, ‘if you don’t get it together, you’re going to be in jail or…

April’s Story

September 11th, 2019

April is a survivor who has battled and overcome poverty, addiction and human trafficking.  “I was trafficked on the west side of Columbus for many years.” April said. “I was in and out of jail. I came from poverty. I just had this poverty mindset that kept me stuck. I didn’t strive for more.” The…

Emi and Tia: The Power of Art and Friendship

August 20th, 2018

When Emi and Tia are together, an extraordinary amount of energy and joy fill the room, whether they are dancing, drawing or just hanging out. They like being together, and it shows. The teens clearly recognize and appreciate one another’s strengths, and they’re quick to point those strengths out to anyone who is listening. Tia,…

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