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7th Grade Initiative

How to Sign Up

Pre-registration will begin in September 2019. Details to be announced soon.

Thank You

We would like to thank the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC and a private donor, for helping provide this opportunity for the 7th graders of Howard County.  With this generous grant the Y will make accessible the support and opportunities that empower these youth to reach their personal potential.

About the Program

Kokomo Family YMCA’s New 7th Grade Initiative Offers Free Memberships to Local Youth

FCA Foundation grant helps the Y open its doors to safe, fun, healthy activities

Free Membership Registration Deadline: March 1, 2019

Seventh grade is an exciting time in children’s lives, as they prepare for or have already begun their new role as a teenager. They are finding themselves, deepening friendships and are increasingly more curious about the world, but research shows this is the time when their risk factors greatly increase. 

It is for these reasons that the Kokomo Family YMCA is pleased to announce the kickoff of the Y’s 7th Grade Initiative. Through generous donations from the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC and a private donor, the Y will offer free memberships to Howard County 7th graders, allowing it to reach outside of its walls and open doors to area youth.

Christine Estereicher, FCA Foundation CEO and Director, State Affairs, Civic Engagement & External Affairs, FCA US LLC said the foundation cares deeply about helping young people and building strong, sustainable communities.

“We are very pleased to partner with organizations like the YMCA of Kokomo, which provide young people with the support they need to help guide them along their journey to becoming successful adults," said Estereicher. “Today’s announcement is also evidence of our continued commitment to the region.” FCA US, which employs more than 8,200 employees in the area, was among the key contributors to the Y’s 2013 capital campaign to create the new downtown facility.

“The Y will offer memberships to all local 7th graders preregistered through the program,” said Trish Severns, CEO of the Kokomo Family YMCA, “because the Y knows how much safe spaces and positive influences can combat unhealthy behaviors. Risk factors and influences that have been shown to increase the likelihood of unhealthy behaviors include substance abuse, delinquency, teen pregnancy, school drop out and violence. It is during the early teen years that youth begin to distance themselves from family and positive support," said Severns.

The Y will make accessible the support and opportunities that empower these youth to reach their personal potential. It will also provide youth with the knowledge, skills, character, and passion to be more active in the community as adults.

“Not only are we grateful to the FCA Foundation for providing this opportunity to all these 7th graders, but we are excited for the possibilities it opens up,” said Severns. “We have met with other organizations about a creative collaboration with the Y. They are excited to jump on board and provide resources for these students and we are certainly ecstatic about being able to provide a fun, healthy and safe space for them go.”

To receive a free membership, a parent or caregiver may preregister their 7th grader in person or online at kokomoymca.org between Feb. 12 and Mar. 1, 2019. From 5 to 9 p.m. on March 1, the Y will host a huge kickoff party during First Friday Downtown where families may fill out final paperwork, provide proof of eligibility and pick up their 7GI membership keytags.

7th graders who participate in this initiative will have an opportunity to swim, play basketball, use equipment and participate in select classes at the Y; participate in monthly teen-centered events at the Y; will have access to Family Prime Time, which will allow their whole family to visit the Y during select hours; and more.

The 7th Grade Initiative supports the Y’s cause of strengthening the community and making sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Since 1875, the Kokomo Family YMCA has been engaging children, adults and families – regardless of age, income or background. We seek to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the area’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. The Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. kokomoymca.org

About the FCA Foundation
The FCA Foundation is the charitable arm of North American automaker FCA US LLC, a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. The FCA Foundation invests in U.S. charitable organizations and initiatives that help empower people, build strong, resilient communities and generate meaningful and measurable societal impacts. In support of these objectives, the FCA Foundation focuses on the following foundational pillars: youth development, education, support for military, veterans and their families, and community service.

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