When the final bell rings at schools throughout Greater Houston, thousands of young people will pour out into the sunshine, looking forward to three months of homework free, unstructured time. The YMCA of Greater Houston FREE Teen Summer Membership, for youth ages 12-18, encourages youth to stay active throughout the summer and provides a safe, engaging environment where teens can spend time with friends, find motivation to reach goals and build healthy habits, make connections with caring adult role-models and experience opportunities for leadership development.
Young people are at greater risk for risky behaviors during the summer, when they spend long stretches of time bored and unsupervised. Decades of statistics demonstrate that violence, drinking, and drug use rates go up during the summer months. “Keeping our teens safe and engaged through the summer months is one of the Ys most important initiatives”, says Paul McEntire, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Houston. “It is vital in helping to decrease the violence that often spikes in our community during the summer and shape our communities. The Y is often a second home for many teens and a place to find positive role models. We are proud to be able to open our doors to hundreds of teens this summer, at no charge.”
Enrollment for the YMCA FREE Summer Teen Membership is simple. From May 28-June 8, teens may visit one of 7 participating locations throughout the Greater Houston area to enroll. A valid school ID and permission from a parent or guardian is required. Space is limited to the first 100 teens per location and memberships are valid June 1-August 31, 2018.
Other YMCAs across the country including those in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Boston, Philadelphia and Richmond, VA., have offered similar programs.
For a full list of participating YMCA locations or for more information, please visit www.ymcahouston.org.