The YMCA summer Y-Corps program will be well-represented by GCHS and the 16 students who have been selected to participate this July.
This is the second largest number of students selected from one school statewide, and the most selected from GCHS in its three-year participation with the summer program.
Y-Corps is a service-learning program for students who want to make a difference in their communities and around the Commonwealth and country. The program incorporates the four types of service emphasized by the Y: direct service, indirect service, philanthropy, and advocacy.
Participants are required to perform 50 hours of direct or indirect service in their local communities, perform philanthropy by fundraising for the Y’s Scholarship Fund, which provides funding for Y conferences throughout the year. They will also advocate for the Y-Corps teams with donors and individuals they meet during their experience. The program culminates with an eight to 10-day service trip around Kentucky for first-time participants, or the Midwest, Northern, or Southern regions of the U.S. for those with multiple years of experience.
According to Y-Club Sponsor Kelli Hall, these students are very active with the high school Y-Club throughout the school year, providing community service to various organizations in Grayson County. The students also participate in KY YMCA-sponsored events such as Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA) and Kentucky United Nations Assembly). Replicating the roles of state and global leaders, they also develop skills in personal development and civic engagement.
Senior Seth Cardwell will serve as a team leader for the Midwest region to keep things organized and set an example for the rest of the group to follow.
And while the projects they will have waiting for them are a surprise until they arrive on location, that’s all in keeping with the Y-Club philosophy of “participate, don’t anticipate,” said Tristan Deering.
Several students echoed that mantra, including Sarah Norris, who added that Y-Corps and the summer program are really “about what we can do for others.”
Hall calls the Y-Corp program both a life and life-view changing experience.
She said, “Anytime teenagers want to travel by bus, sleep on floors, eat sandwiches, give up their cell phones, and provide free service to help others, they are special and will make a difference in this world.“