The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities partners with the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to provide summer education and enrichment opportunities for youth through traditional day camp programs across the metro and new this year, the Get Summer teen membership program.

With the support of the Schulze Family Foundation, the YMCA provides need-based financial assistance to send more than 700 youth to day camp. Many participants were connected to YMCA camps through the Y’s school-based enrichment programs that provide before and after school activities at no cost in schools with a high population of families qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

At day camp, young people have the opportunity to experience nature through hands-on activities like canoeing, archery, rock climbing and hiking. They build confidence, learn teamwork and leadership skills, develop character, and create connections with caring adult role models.

Beginning in 2017, thanks to the Schulze Family Foundation, the YMCA will offer 200 free memberships for teens entering grades 9-12 at each of 24 locations across the Twin Cities Studies have shown that when teens’ time is less structured, the chance for risky behavior increases. Additionally, only 20 percent of teens hold a summer job, and this figure is lower among teens of color. More than 80 percent of Twin Cities teens live within 15 minutes of a YMCA, where they can access health and wellness programs, aquatics, camps, leadership and workforce development opportunities, and more. Partnering with the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to provide free summer memberships for teens helps the YMCA break down barriers and give teens access to these programs.

Because of the Schulze Family Foundation, the YMCA is able to reach more youth in our communities through enriching summer programs that keep kids engaged when school is not in session.