This Fall, several staff members at The Family YMCA are wearing a badge declaring them the “Champion of” one of the Y’s four core values. Those staff members were chosen by other staff because they were observed representing that Core Value observed in interactions with other staff, Y members and guests.
They wear the Champion Badge for about a week, then choose another staff member whom they feel has exemplified that core value. Everyone is encouraged to ask about that badge and talk about what that value means to them.
YMCA Chamisa After School Site Director Andrea Lynch, left, gives Counselor Winnie Lamartine a Respect badge. Courtesy/YMCA
YMCA Sports and Adventure Director Jeremy Smith prompted the activity and says the “badge” is a reminder to staff that being part of the Y is more than exercising at a gym or showing up at work only to do daily tasks.
“It’s a tool to support our mission and reinforces our desires to ‘Live Our Cause,’” he said. “The Y’s mission is to strengthen community by focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.“
Smith said that Y work is about helping people to thrive. “We’ve made a promise to strengthen community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Fulfilling this promise begins with staff and volunteer leaders of all levels, in every YMCA across the country, understanding that promise and each one’s role in fulfilling it.”
Smith said the goal of the activity is to support a national movement of people, starting with staff and volunteers, who live our cause every day by intentionally thinking, acting and communicating in ways that strengthen community.
The Y’s core values unite the organization as a movement with a common cause, Smith said. “They are the shared beliefs and essential principles that guide our behavior, interactions with each other, and decision making.”
He said the most powerful way Y staff professionals and volunteers can help develop character in others is to be a good role model in attitude and behavior; to teach the core values; and encourage the people to do what is right. It is incorporated in everything the Y does, he said, from policies and practices to belief and behavior.
Membership Director Estrella Young, left, receives a ‘Caring’ badge from Fitness Coach Vera Jaramillo. Courtesy/YMCA
The four core values of the Y:
- Caring: Show a sincere concern and compassion for others;
- Honesty: Be truthful in what you say and do;
- Respect: Acknowledge the inherent worth in oneself and others and treat others fairly and justly; and
- Responsibility: Be accountable for your behavior, obligations and actions and do what is right.
The badges have begun circulating throughout the Y. Member services representative Sharleen Espinoza began the Responsibility badge and passed it to Ari Mangan who passed it to Dwight Williams who passed it to Chelsie Jarvis. Business Manager Chris Daniels began the Honesty badge and passed it to Wellness Director Stacey Castille who passed it to Diego Torres. Fitness Coach Vera Jaramillo began the Caring badge and passed it to Membership Director Estrella Young who passed it to Reach and Rise Mentor Director Dianna Reichelt. After School Site Director Andrea Lynch began the Respect badge and passed it to Counselor Winnie Lamartine … and the Champions of Values movement continues.