Eau Claire YMCA was buzzing with over 100 high school students this past Friday night as YMAP programs celebrated an awesome start to the year! YMAP (aka YMCA Achievement Program) is an after-school program for immigrant high school students to explore a wide variety of topics from financial literacy, to resume building, to how we can become global citizens working for social justice.
So now with just over a month of programs under our belt, what a better way to start the year off right than with a party?
The annual kick-off event provides a space to hang out, play games, and meet YMAP students from other high schools and quadrants of the city. Students were open to join activities of their interest, such as basketball, badminton, a hip-hop dance class, or making Holiday decorations for a local non-profit organization.
It was a blast to see some unlikely candidates tearing up the dance floor or to witness a heated 3-on-3 on the courts between good friends. Most exciting to see was the number of students who were so eager to be making gifts to give away for Charity. Students were overwhelmingly positive throughout the evening stating how they feel accepted and welcomed by the YMAP community.
It is truly remarkable to see young people collaborating together, forming new friendships, and choosing to spend a Friday night in a safe and positive environment. All in all, if this is just the beginning, brace yourselves for a jam-packed year of growth, learning and laughter.
A big thank-you to everyone who participated to put on such a fantastic event, to all of our volunteers, staff, and to our students who continue to be an inspiration as they learn what it means to be a leader in one’s community!
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