We have been developing many exciting and innovative programs in support of our local youth. They are offered throughout the year so please inquire frequently or visit the Event calendar on the website. Below, please find some of our major programs but we are always testing new offerings and are open to suggestions as to other youth development programming:
Building Futures Through Mentoring* is an initiative where 60 Norwalk youth (ages 10-18) who are at risk of joining gangs are mentored ‘at the Y’ a minimum of one hour each week. (*Partnership between the Norwalk YMCA, City of Norwalk, S.A.V.E., Human Services Council and Family and Children’s Agency) Immediate need is for additional mentors, especially males.
Father/Father Figure and Child Relationship Building Program* is a program that will serve 80 Norwalk youth over the course of a year through 4 separate seven-week sessions. The program utilizes basketball fun, skill development and a F.I.S.L.L. (Faith, Integrity, Sacrifice, Leadership, legacy) curriculum developed by the Allan Houston Legacy Foundation and based on Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches to help prevent domestic and gang violence and to build stronger family ties.
(*Partnership between the Norwalk YMCA, Allan Houston Legacy Foundation, City of Norwalk via a Community Development Block Grant and S.A.V.E.)
Summer Teen Internships at the Y are filled by up to 24 youth from the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program who work and gain skills 30 hours a week for children and youth.
Teen Volunteer Initiative – This program offers scholarships for youth interested in “earning” their membership through service to the Norwalk YMCA. It is a great opportunity to instill good values and earning a valuable reward for their service to our Y and the Norwalk community.
International Y Exchange with Nuremburg, Germany – a key ingredient in religious development and appreciation is to share international experiences. This summer we further developed an existing relationships with the Nuremburg, Germany YMCA and “Atlantic Bridge” by sending five of our “Norwalk Y Ambassadors” to Germany and the Czech Republic. These young men also visited the Munich, Berlin and Prague Y’s, stayed with host families and participated in a week-long International Youth Festival in the Czech Republic. There they shared about American life and culture, contributed their artistic gifts and talents and developed great international friendships for the future.
Choices for Success (a prevention program implemented by the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County) – Choices for Success is an innovative program that helps teens avoid self-defeating behavior, develop self-esteem, improve academic achievement, and pursue opportunities for a promising future. The Y leases programming space in their 3rd floor facility to this long-time Fairfield County non-profit that is committed to excellence.