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The opening of the Collins-Katz YMCA

Keily Giron-Montenegro, Staff Writer

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Over University High School’s winter break, the Collins and Katz Family YMCA concluded its project, opening a branch in the West Los Angeles area. With a center designed to encourage and promote health and wellness, the YMCA has urged the importance of community over many decades, welcoming various groups of people with diverse backgrounds and abilities.

The Y nurtures the potential of young children, teens, and adults, supporting their unique development journey through programs offered and resources shared amongst the organization. At the Y, children and teens build skills when exploring interests and passions present at the Y, while also developing leadership dexterity provided through leadership and academic enrichment programs. The community aspects found within the YMCA created by their emphasis on providing a firm academic and social support for children, teens, and adults in urban Los Angeles stresses the importance of such environment available for students at University High School to experience opportunities and assistance offered by the organization.

The opening of the community YMCA on Ohio Ave. and Westgate Ave. near Uni’s gym, has provided students like Natalie Velasquez and Waddah Gorashi with a greater influence and understanding of their community. Velasquez shares her own perspective of the Y, stating, “I would definitely recommend friends and family into joining the Y because of the fun and clean environment it provides.” As a frequent member, Velasquez believes the YMCA has helped her become further involved in her surroundings, stating, “it is important to be involved because it is what really brings people together; you get to meet new faces in the process.” While Gorashi lives in Koreatown, Los Angeles, his walk to the Y during the week and his commute to the facility during the weekend has established a positive impact in his life. At the Y, Gorashi shares, “[he has] taken advantage of the help offered by multiple staff members and their efforts to provide individuals with assistance has developed a support system outside of [his] family and friends that [he] greatly admires.” In addition, Gorashi states, “the Y is like home away from home; a home that you never wish to leave, and a home where community and respect remain part of its core values.”

With the Y’s aim toward making a positive impact in the lives of young individuals, and adults, it has also shaped Karli Orr’s perspective of its facilities. Orr, a Uni mathematics teacher, states, “[the YMCA] is a nice place to work out with good equipment and nice facilities.” The Collins and Kurtz YMCA facility has provided individuals with the ability to experience opportunities found within their programs, while also influencing the participation of Uni High students and faculty. In the future, a multitude of Uni students should experience the importance of wellness and health stressed by the Y and ultimately, create a greater lifestyle for themselves.

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The student news site of University High in Los Angeles, California
The opening of the Collins-Katz YMCA