Job Prep (Jan.-End of Summer) is a free teen job training program for ages 15-17. Teens develop interviewing, workplace etiquette and money management skills, and earn certifications in CPR and first aid. Guest speakers teach them valuable lessons as they gain confidence in themselves and a greater sense of responsibility. At the end of the course, graduates apply for summer jobs within the Y and throughout the community. Download the application.
- Middle School After School (Sep-May). Provides a safe, supervised and fun environment for 6th-8th graders in 16 local middle schools FREE of charge. Youth not only stay off the streets after school but also participate in recreational activities and special interest clubs, and receive homework assistance and snacks.
- SPLASH (Sep-May). Provides an opportunity for 2nd graders from low-income elementary schools to learn basic life-saving swim skills through a free six-week program at the Y. Many of the participants have never experienced swimming. A fall swimsuit drive is conducted to ensure everyone can participate at no cost.
- STARS (Sep-May). (Students Together Afterschool for Recreation & Sports) allows area elementary school students a chance to enjoy FREE supervised activities (gym, swim and more) once a week.
- Coat Drive (Oct-Nov). For nearly a decade, the Y has collected and distributed thousands of coats, hats, gloves and scarves to local needy families. This annual event continues to keep area kids and adults warm each year.
- We Care Thanksgiving Dinner (day before Thanksgiving). Each year, the Y provides more than 2,000 Thanksgiving meals to kids and adults who would not otherwise receive a traditional holiday dinner. Started more than 30 years ago, this annual event is one of the community’s largest Thanksgiving dinners. Sponsored by CornerBank, AGH and Syl’s Catering.
Participants with nearly 60 area nonprofits receive free access to local Ys through our Cooperative Agency program. Many of these agencies serve vulnerable populations such as at-risk youth, and kids and adults with special needs or mental health conditions.
The Y advocates for healthy living by bringing together members of the community to address local health needs. To this end, the Y helped launch the Health & Wellness Coalition (HWC) of Wichita several years ago with support from the Kansas Health Foundation and other community leaders. This coalition, now made up of more than 80 area businesses and agencies, is promoting physical activity and healthy eating through programs, people and policies.
Under YMCA leadership, the HWC evaluates community resources, hosts an annual Working Well Conference, organizes a citywide bike month, assists schools and individuals in establishing healthy habits and impacts policy decisions, encouraging community infrastructure that supports healthy lifestyles.
The Y also participates in and partners with a variety of local community organizations:
- Schools & Education
- Government Agencies
- Nonprofit & Community Service Organizations