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YMCA conference trains future leaders

| 09/01/2018 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life

2017 YMCA Conference attendees

(CNS Local Life): The YMCA of the Cayman Islands will host their 3rd Annual Leaders for Youth Conference this week. Their biggest training event of the year, the conference provides an opportunity for over 130 YMCA staff, volunteers and programme partners to learn and collaborate together as leaders for youth in the Cayman community. The two-day event will kick-off on Friday, 12 January with a leadership training day for YMCA programme coordinators and professional staff.

Saturday, 13 January will see YMCA leaders and partners come together and engage in a full day of workshops focused on youth development and community strengthening.

This year’s conference theme is “The Power of Perspective”. The conference will focus on the role each member of the Y plays in, and their ability to, positively influence the youth they work with.

“This year’s theme is about developing a greater understanding of how we as leaders can best understand our youth,” said YMCA Operations Director Gillian Roffey. “We’ll be working to establish a greater understanding and appreciation of the developmental stages of youth and how this impacts their decisions and behaviors. The realities of our youth are ever-changing; it’s important for us to understand how best to connect with them and create positive learning and character-building environments.”

Y After-School Instructor and Teaching Assistant and Career Advisor at Clifton Hunter High School, Christene Campbell, remembers her experience at the conference last year with enthusiasm. Saying that  she felt very empowered by the conference, she noted, “I was so impressed with the level of organisation and the schedule that I am really looking forward to this year’s conference.”

She added, “Being able to network with so many other educators and others working with youth in Cayman was invaluable. Understanding that there are so many other people facing the same challenges as you was great and every one of the sessions was focused on problem solving and coming up with new ideas to overcome the challenges.”

The YMCA is excited to welcome new and returning local presenters as well as international partners from the YMCA of Greater St Petersburg (Florida) and the Westfield Area Y (New Jersey). For the first time, the Y will also be hosting YMCA leaders from across the Caribbean. As a result of training allocations received via the Latin America & Caribbean Alliance of YMCAs (LACA), delegates from the YMCAs of Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago will be joining in as participants this year.

Each of these individuals are building on the after-school programmes in their country. This professional development opportunity will aid in the enhancement of after-school programming across the Caribbean, as these delegates take their experience back to their home YMCA’s and collaboration efforts across the region are strengthened.

Roffey said, “As the largest youth services organization in the world, the YMCA is a worldwide movement. At just 5 years old, our YMCA is honored to host 12 international Y Leaders from across the US and Caribbean. This Conference will give our staff, volunteers and programme partners the opportunity to experience the global impact of the work they do first-hand – that’s empowering!”

The YMCA of the Cayman Islands and the YMCA of Greater St Petersburg have been in partnership since the launch of Cayman’s YMCA. The St. Pete Y was very instrumental in setting up Cayman’s Y. The partnership with the Y in Westfield, New Jersey became official in 2016 and has provided much training for Y Cayman staff and great learning opportunities. Being a part of LACA has also allowed Cayman’s YMCA to connect with and learn from all the YMCAs in the region. These partnerships are all in the spirit of connecting YMCA communities to an international movement transforming lives.

For any questions about the conference, please feel free to contact Jenny Stuesser (Conference Coordinator) at 929-1850 or jstuesser@ymcacayman.ky.

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