– July 27, 2021 SAINT JOHN, NB -The YMCA of Greater Saint John’s Youth Council was formed in 2017, with a mission to help connect young people, create sustainable employability opportunities and mentor young leaders.
Since it’s formation, the council has adapted to the Saint John region’s needs and has worked on a variety of initiatives. From hosting a collaborative workshop with the growth committee at the city of Saint John on youth retention needs, to developing an employability program – the council has completed a wide variety of projects.
Members of the council have also connected with YMCAs around the globe and attended a world YMCA conference in London, England in 2019.
Although each Y is different in the fact that the organization reflects their unique community, there is a common goal to provide a sense of belonging through experiences at the YMCA.
The YMCA of Greater Saint John is seeking applicants for their Youth Council as they value the youth voice as part of the decision-making process. This is an opportunity for young people between Sussex and St. Stephen to step up and contribute to their community in a meaningful way. Learn more about some of the Y’s current Youth Council volunteers below:
Jen Brown (she/her)
Jen is the current chair of the Y’s Youth Council. When she is not working or volunteering, she can be found playing football, ice hockey, ball hockey and softball. She is also a dog mom to Bentley!
“The starting point for my career was working at the YMCA of Greater Saint John,” Jen said. “After leaving, I wanted to continue being involved with a very strong presence in our community. I loved travelling to London with fellow council members and learning new ideas to bring back to my community.” Jen is also the recipient of the YMCA 2019 Red Triangle – Leader to Watch award.
Brittany McGraw (she/her)
Brittany is a Human Resources professional and life-long Saint Johner. She’s a Pug enthusiast often seen walking or running the streets of West Side or sitting on the Small Batch patio.
“I got involved in the council to give back to the greater Saint John community. At the time, I had been looking for a volunteer opportunity that would positively impact our city. When I discovered the YMCA Youth Council, it seemed like the perfect fit,” Brittany said.
“The Youth Council has been an excellent experience, allowing me to connect with like-minded individuals while helping to impact youth in our area. As part of the Youth Council, I’ve had opportunities to network with YMCA volunteers from all over the world, network and brainstorm ways in which to improve retention in our city, as well as participate in the development of an entirely new program at the Y, focused on the professional development of local youth.”
For Brittany, the best part about the YMCA is the inclusive, inviting atmosphere – no matter who you are or where you’re from, you are always welcome at the Y!
Nicole Vair (she/her)
Nicole is a marketing and communication professional who loves a good story, community and ocean views!
She joined the Youth Council in 2017 as a staff member at the Y. Since then, she has stayed involved as a volunteer because she has been able to see the positive impact the council has had on her community.
The opportunities she has received from being involved as a volunteer on the council have allowed her to grow and contribute to her community in ways she never imagined were possible. To learn more and to apply to be a member of the Y’s Youth Council, click here.