YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh
Overview and mission
The GPD Charitable Trust has granted YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh over $670,000 since 2012 for capital improvements to their camping grounds and to launch their Rising Leaders Program. Rising Leaders is a unique partnership with other GPD grantee Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos that offers a small group of YMCA youth the opportunity to travel to Honduras to work with a local NPH orphanage.
“The YMCA’s purpose with this program is to help our young leaders develop a global understanding of social responsibility. We hope that the experience will help these young people grow into adults who work to solve the biggest problems facing not only their local community but the global community, too.”
Todd Brinkman, District Vice President of Camping Services, YMCA of greater Pittsburgh.
Participants complete service projects, teach the Honduran “pequeños” many of the games, group exercises and songs that are part of the YMCA camping experience, and learn about Honduran culture.
In exchange, the YMCA brings several young adults from NPH to participate as counselors at the various YMCA summer camps in the Pittsburgh area. During this time the visiting NPH youth build relationships with local families, and develop their language, mentorship, and professional skills.
The goal of the program is to build hard working future leaders, with respect and appreciation for their community while forging strong cross-cultural bonds and mutual understanding.
“While I was growing up, my family had a tradition of camping at the Deer Valley YMCA camp site. Later, I followed that tradition with my own family at the same facility. Today, the values of the YMCA and camping are more important to families in America than ever before which is why the GPD Charitable Trust funded a capital campaign to secure the Deer Valley facility’s future. Under Todd Brinkman’s leadership, the YMCA has also built a strong youth development program in collaboration with Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, another GPD Charitable Trust partner, based on shared values and a common vision for leaders of service. ”
John DeBlasio - Founder of GPD Charitable Trust