April 28, 2023

WCU Honored with YMCA Service to Youth Award

YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) Board Chair and Chief Volunteer Officer Donna Urian (far left) honored volunteers and community partners at YGBW’s volunteer recognition breakfast. Awards were given to NFP, West Chester University, and Scott Bond. (L-R) Donna Urian; NFP Vice President Evans Pancoast; Dean of WCU’s College of Health Sciences Scott Heinerichs; retired IT executive and member of the YMCA Innovation and Technology Committee Scott Bond; and YMCA of Greater Brandywine President and CEO Denise Day.

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) has honored West Chester University with their Service to Youth Award, which recognizes an organization that has made a significant and positive difference in the lives of youth in the community. WCU has partnered with YGBW in developing curriculum for youth programming, supported YGBW’s internship program, and contributed in other ways to Youth Development – a pillar of the YMCA mission.

“The partnership between WCU and the YMCA is very complementary as both organizations help each other to achieve their respective missions,” said Scott Heinerichs, Dean of WCU’s College of Health Sciences. “Our institution can assist the YMCA in meeting member needs, and by doing so, we create rich learning experiences for our students in return.”

Through a longstanding partnership, WCU and the YMCA have supported each other in many ways. WCU sources interns for the YMCA, helping advance the YMCA mission while providing hands-on experience to students. WCU also provides curriculum support for YMCA programs like STRIDE for ALL, the Family Whole Health Challenge, and youth culinary classes, part of the YMCA’s monthly programming that launched in 2023.

“WCU’s partnership on youth culinary classes allows us to develop new curriculum for Chester County youth while allowing WCU students to participate in a well-rounded learning experience,” said Bridgette Barbera-Byrne, Senior Director of Youth Programming for the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.

“By working with the YMCA, our students are able to apply what they learn in the classrooms – while also serving YMCA members and contributing to the common good,” added Heinerichs. “Through our partnership, the opportunities are endless.”

The award was presented by Donna Urian, Board Chair and Chief Volunteer Officer at YGBW, which recently celebrated the 3,215 volunteers who contributed an impressive 52,000 hours of service over the past year.

One of those volunteers is WCU student Jessie Snodgrass, who was named Volunteer of the Year for the Oscar Lasko YMCA Branch. Awards are given to one or two volunteers per branch who have made a significant impact on a YMCA program, committee, or campaign.

Laura Milazzo Mackiewicz, Director of Volunteer Engagement at YGBW, noted, “Our honorees are dedicated to driving our mission forward – and they are just the tip of the iceberg.”

Learn more about YGBW 2022 Volunteer honorees.

Learn more about Volunteering at YGBW.

Learn more about WCU’s College of Health Sciences.


About the YMCA of Greater Brandywine 

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), an association of eight YMCAs serving Chester County, is a leading non-profit organization committed to building community. We strive to nurture the potential of every child, promote healthy living and foster social responsibility through life-changing programs for all. YGBW raises funds to provide financial assistance to those unable to pay the standard rates. To learn more, visit ymcagbw.org.

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