The YMCA is one of the country’s leading non-profits for youth development. Their mission is to offer holistic youth development programs that enhance, protect and nurture development.
On this special live-in-person episode of Calm, Cool and Connected- Dr. Fedrick is joined by Seth Foster. He is the Regional Youth Development Director for the YMCA of South Hampton Roads.
Key Takeaways from Liz’s 1-on-1 with Seth:
• Hear about Seth’s role at the YMCA
• Learn Seth’s personal story with the Y
• Find out how the YMCA nurtures children from infancy all the way through teen years
• Discover what kind of support the Y offered during Covid
• Hear how the YMCA serves as a connector between the kids and their community
• Discover the Y’s new free Summer program!
All of this and more, on this episode of Calm, Cool and Connected.
Find more information at: www.ymcashr.org/sponsor-a-teen Text the word “TEEN” to 833-222-2118
Email the Y at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dr. Liz: [00:00:00] Now more than ever. We have an opportunity to be a positive force in the world to help heal the divide, to treat each other and ourselves with respect. What was so many tools out there from meditation to physical training, proper nutrition therapy, and so many others. We all need a little help navigating all the options.
Join us as we share in depth information, insights, and thought provoking discussions that will help answer your questions about how to stay calm, cool, and connected during these times. Welcome to calm. Cool, and connected your guidebook to peace of mind.
Hi, and welcome to calm. Cool and connected. I'm your host, Dr.
Elizabeth Fedrick. We all know that the Y M C a is a leading nonprofit for strengthening individuals and communities. They provide services and really bring people together. Joining us today is Seth foster. He's the regional. Youth development director for the Y M C a and he's here to talk with us about the programs offered and how you guys are really supporting youth through this time.
The pandemic has been really hard, so I'm sure. Provided a lot of support through [00:01:00] that as well. Yes. So thank you for joining us. Thank you for having me tell us a little bit about yourself and your role
Seth: at the Y. So yes, as, as she stated, I am a regional youth development director for the Virginia Beach region.
So I have the opportunity to support all of VV in the youth development efforts in our summer camp before and after school care, teen programming and it's preschool program.
Dr. Liz: Okay. So you guys offer a lot of services. We do. You oversee all of that? I do. Okay. That's a lot of work. It is. you have a personal story though, with the Y, right?
I do tell us about that.
Seth: My Y journey started at 10 years old. So at the age of 10 my mom got me to the Y single parent. She was looking for somewhere for me to go. So I went to the Y in summer camp from there. I stayed in summer camp counsel and training is a program that we have.
So once I got of age around 13 years old, I was able to do a C I T or L I T, which is counseling and training and leader in training. From that program. I ventured it to teen leaders club. So that's where I got my start in terms of the why work, my job, my first job and the why, where the, the leaders club really taught me my foundation, my skills, the morals everything that [00:02:00] I have to do the job that I do now.
From leaders club I, I was serving a leaders club for about three or four years. Got my first job in staying play an iZone traveled down that journey of staying play iZone. And before, after school care, the before after school counselor mm-hmm and then summer camp counselor in 2019 was promoted to a youth development director at the Hilltop family wise.
Oh my. And then I got this promotion here an opportunity as a regional youth development director. That's amazing.
Dr. Liz: So yes, that's quite the journey you've had. Yes. And that's really cool cuz that makes you that much more relatable to the kids that you're working with and like for you to have this really success story of what the Y is provided for you.
Absolutely. It's amazing.
Seth: Yep. My first, my first and only job. Yeah. Well, there you go. I've ever since, so. And
Dr. Liz: is it gonna be your.
Seth: I, I hope so.
Dr. Liz: Okay. I, I hope so. Tell us, how does the, why nurture children, like when, when we talk about the programs and the services offered, where is that nurturing coming in of the services that you're
So we started, we started at six weeks, six weeks year olds, right? So we, we started from. Stay play an eye zone where they are in their babies and infants, where we, where when then we go [00:03:00] all the way to teens. Right? So we really focus on just pouring into the youth and investing in them, in their skills, their morals, their ethics, everything that they need to be successful whether that is for the career, whether that is helping them through play all those different things.
We're nurturing. We're start. Like I said, starting at six week years old, going to preschool programming where we have a curriculum that we focus learning through, play focusing then on the school age programming. Right? So where we have games and activities, art, science, outdoor education that we foster the kids, and then moving into teen programming where we have a little elevated.
Skill set, where we do career pathways and we do outdoor leadership, education programs, all the different things.
Dr. Liz: So really preparing them to enter into life. I mean, it's really these life skills. We talk a lot about with school. Like we learn about math, we learn science, we learn all of these things.
Right. But the life skills are often lacking. And so it sounds like that's really where you guys. Pick up right. And help people
Seth: prepare for that. And we try to do that in a fun way, try to do it in a way where interactive for the kids. So they really could have fun while learning those things,
Dr. Liz: enjoying it and wanting to be there.
Correct. [00:04:00] Yeah. That's amazing. What is some support that you feel that teens are needing right now? Especially as I mentioned, you know, during the pandemic, that was so hard. My 15 year old son, I know that was such a struggle for him. What type of support did you guys provide and do you feel that they needed,
Seth: so the Y was there we're always there.
Right? So in the middle of a pandemic, I talk a little bit about that. E-learning is one thing that we did, right? So when the schools were virtual we stepped in and we, we offered e-learning where we had the children coming into our buildings to do their academics and, and, and while they were in school while the parents were at work.
Okay. With the teens we were there virtually, right? So we were, we were there doing fitness classes with them. We were there doing podcasts with them. We were there serving them as much as we could and making sure they had a space to go that space in that place was very important for us. So when I think about what they need, they need that place to just be social to be interactive to have that space, to be themselves.
Because as through the pandemic, I think they had too much time to dwell. On on things and they got into a really depression state and really, it, it, it affected them mentally a lot. Absolutely. And the why wanted to be there for them to give [00:05:00] them that space and that place to have fun, to get that mind off of those things, to foster relationships and to just have fun with other people that are like-minded like them.
Dr. Liz: I, and I really appreciate that, cuz I know for our practice, it, it completely increased with the needs of anxiety and depression. And we saw such an influx of teens and kids who are used to spending. This time at school and with their friends. And so that's amazing. You guys provided that you talk about taking pride in being the third place.
When you use the reference, the third place. Tell us what is the first and second place that, how has the, why becoming the third. The
Seth: first place is home, right? Whether they're with their parents or with their families the second place to school, where they have their friends, their teachers and their other community there as well.
So we wanna make sure that we're their third place that they can go
Dr. Liz: to. And that's so great because when we're thinking about it in terms of their primary support system, right, right. And so that's home and the school, and then you are really showing up to be that third primary support. Yes. Which is so crucial for a lot of teams.
How can people get involved with your program and is there [00:06:00] volunteer opportunities or even coming in to get the services? Tell us
Seth: about that. So, absolutely. So right now the Y is launching this summer program that is giving teens 13 to 17 year olds free access to the Y. Oh and so this is, this is great.
I, I'm excited about this program to just give them once again, that opportunity to come into our Y doors and, and see what we have to offer and offering them things that they want to do. So this program was birthed through one of our Y leaders that has the same connection to the Y as I do mm-hmm and the same background and story that I do as well.
And. that's one way we can get connected right now. This is free, like I said, and so it's sponsored by our donors. So we have donors that is sponsoring this program for our teens throughout the summer, to be able to come into our wide doors and, and add them and get them involved into our community.
Dr. Liz: So that's, I mean, amazing. So then there's really no barrier. They show up and engage.
Seth: Yes. Yep. They show they can show up. It's free right now. We have 1900 teams so far in your enroll enrolled in, in Y CF south Henry roads. We have 1900 teams. That is, oh my gosh. In this program. So we are very, very excited.
We're [00:07:00] ready to go.
Dr. Liz: The Y M C a of south Hampton roads is very busy. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Get you guys very active, indeed. Yes. So tell us, where can people find your contact information? How can you best be reached
Seth: to learn more? So our email@example.com slash sponsor team. And then you also can text us at 8 3 3 2 2 2 21 18.
Those are the two resources, ways that we connect with us. Just also just visit our firstname.lastname@example.org. And you'll see a lot of other programs that we're offering for the teens and for the community as a
Dr. Liz: whole. And, and just in terms of like a volunteer opportunity, if people, you know, are watching, they wanna get involved and give back, are there options for that, that can be found on the
Seth: website or?
Absolutely. Absolutely. So there's, there's many options not just with, you know, our team communities, but in the Y and, and, and in the, in some that you can come and you can invest your time. But that's all we ask for is your time. And also you can also sponsor team as well. So that could also be found on our website.
Dr. Liz: And can you tell us a little bit, what does that mean to sponsor a team? So
Seth: essentially with this program [00:08:00] their membership, I is a certain amount. It's like $75 for the whole summer. Okay. So when we say free access, that means we are having the, the sponsors and, and, and we're getting them sponsored with donors.
Okay. To be able to come free of free of charge throughout the summertime. Got it. So you're able. Sponsored team through this program. Okay. And that way they're able to come free of charge. And this is also with grants that we having and all these other things. Okay. That's amazing.
Dr. Liz: That's so cool.
Well, thank you for joining us, Seth. I really appreciate being here. Thank you. And thank you all for tuning in to this episode of calm. Cool and connected. Please join us on Facebook or Instagram and also rate and subscribe to our podcast so that others can learn about our content as well. Thank you again for joining us on this episode of calm.
Cool and connected.