Y offers free membership to youths who complete life skills class

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – Leaders of the Orleans County YMCA are piloting a new program where youths ages 15 to 20 can receive a free Y membership for six months if they complete a 10-week life skills class.

Pictured, include, from left: Don Colquhoun, former board chairman; Y Executive Director Shauna Parkinson; and Dean Bellack, current Y board chairman.

All three will serve as instructors for the class, as well as Jeff Evoy, Medina school district superintendent, and Jim Simon, dean of the GCC campus centers in Albion and Medina.

“Part of our mission is linking into the community and finding where we can have an impact,” Bellack said.

The Y started childcare programs and exercise classes for senior citizens after assessing community needs.

Bellack believes there is a need for life skills, with topics such as money management, consequences of choices, goal setting, living on your own, and other issues.

“We are hoping they will look at their life trajectory a little bit differently and hopefully open up some possibilities for them,” Bellack said about the Life Skills program.

Orleans County Y officials believe the local Y is the first to offer such a program. Classes will be taught Tuesday evenings form 6 to 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 6 through Dec. 8. The classes will be in the classroom at the Y, located at 306 Pearl St.

Students in the program will receive a free membership during the 10 weeks of classes, plus another three months if they successfully complete the program.

The program will be open to 20 students for the first class.

Shauna Parkinson, the director of the Y in Orleans County, wants to target the program to students who aren’t engaged in sports and other school activities, although the program is open to all students.

“We’re looking to inform and educate on life skills that generally aren’t taught in school,” she said.

For more information on the program, call the Y at (585) 798-2040 or click here.