What the Y Means to Me: From Members of the SAY

The Summit Area YMCA is committed to nurturing the potential of every individual, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. We are a cause driven, volunteer led, nonprofit organization working to support and strengthen the foundations of community. As an organization who works alongside its community, we are always looks for ways to deepen our inclusivity, expand our community outreach, and provide resources that are essential for healthy living and development for our community members. 

Members and staff were asked recently what the Y means to them so we can continue to serve them in the best way possible. Here's what they had to say:


"The Y means community! All of the different activities and programs means everyone and anyone can come together and participate.” – Jada M., Summit Area YMCA Member

“The Y is a staple in every community and to me is a safe space to learn and be a better me.” – Katie M., Summit Area YMCA Staff Member

“The YMCA is my safe space. It gives me a place to relax and forget the stresses.” – Matt K., Summit Area YMCA Member

“The Y is a place where I come to exercise and have fun with friends and family.” – Cory Z., Summit Area YMCA Member

“The Y means a lot to me as it is my place of employment and it is a home to all.” – Maddie G., Summit Area YMCA Staff Member

“A place to escape work by getting healthier and stronger each day!” – Elizabeth C., Summit Area YMCA Member

“The means togetherness and a safe space to be one’s self.” – Bre T., Summit Area YMCA Staff Member

“Structure and friendship. I can play tennis again after taking Gabriella’s (H.) class.” – Christie B., Summit Area YMCA Member


Other sentiments about the Y included:

“Means Community and inclusion.” – Maxine L., Summit Area YMCA Member
“Community and good health.” – Denise J., Summit Area YMCA Member
“Fellowship with women.” – Carol G., Summit Area YMCA Member
• “The Y is the best motivator around. Great spirit and teachers.” – Andrea A., Summit Area YMCA Member
“Community. Brought me out of isolation.” – Neal S., Summit Area YMCA, Trustee 
“The Y is my reason to exercise!” – MaryAnn M., Summit Area YMCA Member

We thank everyone who participated and we always welcome feedback from our community. Hearing about our members' Y stories is what motivates us to continue to develop new programs, extend our offerings to the community, give back, and be a place of inclusiveness, fun, and family. 




In 1886, we were founded as the Young Men's Christian Association, but today, we are The Y. An association that values, and is made stronger by, its diverse people. We stand for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility — For a better us. We are committed to creating equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, age, disability, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive culture in which our four core values — responsibility, honesty, caring and respect — are integral to everyday operations.

Each year, as one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations, the Summit Area YMCA serves more than 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the New Jersey communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling and Summit. Our history is rooted in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those in need.