Every day, inspiring youth endeavor to make the world a better place. Among those striving teens, undoubtedly a select few will realize that change can be set into motion in their own communities. The Y-T.E.A.M stands for The YMCA Teen Empowerment Advocacy Movement. Programs such as these are offered to youth all around the Maryvale community from the ages of 14 to 21.

Mary Robertson, 21, is a long standing member of The Y-Team and various YMCA programs. Approaching nearly her three year mark in the program, Mary has managed to accept likewise opportunities such as The Y-achievers work readiness program. Her dedication and unwavering drive have earned her the throne for Y-TEAM Mentor position next term. Like minded individuals like Mary come together throughout the week to plan and discuss much needed change and progress within the community at large. Discussions about ongoing fundraisers such as talent shows are being planned and executed by these teens who continue emulating positive influences to their surrounding peers.

As a delegate for diversity, Mary is committed to serving the greater good and spreading the word about positively effecting change within the pillars of our own neighborhoods.  When asked “what is the mission you and your peers of The Y-TEAM share?” Mary said “it is to find a way to better the community and give youth the voice and empowerment some teens might not know they possess.”

A mission with morals and characteristics such as theirs can be heard with resounding positivity throughout the YMCA. This message is one that these young adults may carry on when they move on from our community and into the bigger, broader world where their outcry will be matched with absolute joy and comprehension.

“The Y helped me prepare myself for the real world. Their support nudged me to accomplish my G.E.D and get a job. From these experiences I have found that they have been a positive influence in my life. I hope to continue utilizing available and accessible programs to better myself.” Mary said.

Youth Development can be an inspiring process. Behind every troubled or struggling youth, there comes a story of success.

By Joseph Lewis.