While the growth continues apace, the real work of our YMCA involves listening to varied constituencies, being responsive to them, grasping opportunities, creating solutions, and – most central of all – working to get them all moving down the same road together in the same direction. Maintaining that standard has required that the Y become more flexible in understanding what our community needs, what the community wants. Has this been a challenge?
This is what has made our work so rewarding. People are beginning to understand our YMCA’s role in strengthening the fabric of our community. Every day, new partners approach us about collaborating to leverage our collective strengths. It has been fun and affirming to identify our commonalities, crystallize them into plans and actions and share them back with all those who make up our big Y family.
Our Association manages to reinvent itself year after year, decade after decade, and generation after generation. But staying ahead of the curve is not so much about what we say, but more about what we do. Our progress over the past 70 years has given us the faith to push the boundaries and raise our level of expectation even further.
We are faced with the shocking reality that children born today have a lower life expectancy due to chronic childhood obesity. Are we doing enough to fight the disease? Are we helping future generations build healthy habits and strong character? Are we leaving a better world than the one we found? These are just a few of the questions that keep us up at night.
Maintaining momentum is a simple yet powerful idea, but we know it must be done in a purposeful manner. Guided by our current Strategic Plan, we will continue to serve our cause of strengthening the Austin community by keeping our focus on Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility in the years ahead.