Small Communities are seeing Big Impacts through YMCA Partnership


It’s been one year since the YMCA and Eastern Charlotte County began discussing how they could improve community offerings for residents and families. One year, a Youth Leadership Program, Summer Day Camps and new After School Program later and the Town of St. George and surrounding areas are seeing an impact on their communities.

“I have lived in St. George for 30 years and we have needed this partnership with the Y. It is providing so many opportunities for the youth in our community and I am so excited for what’s next,” explained Crystal Cook, Mayor for the Town of St. George.

Cook said that the partnership has not only introduced new programs for the community, but it has also started good conversations.

“People are talking and getting excited about the future in Eastern Charlotte County,” she said.

Claudine Pohl volunteers on the YMCA’s Eastern Charlotte County Advisory Council. She has a strong belief that small communities can do big things and said the Y is the perfect fit to help make big things happen in her community.

“I became part of the YMCA family when we first immigrated to Canada in 1991,” Pohl who is originally from El Salvador said. “The YMCA provided a sense of belonging and it played a big role in my personal development.”

Pohl explained that community development is more than offering new programs, and that is why she is thrilled about this partnership that is allowing community growth.

“The YMCA is bringing our community together. No matter what age, race or financial situation, the YMCA provides the opportunity for everyone to be involved,” she said.

Eleven-year-old Ashton and 8-year-old Acacia Barrett from Back Bay, New Brunswick were given the opportunity to attend camp this summer and learned valuable skills while making new friends.

“My son isn’t very outdoorsy, and he came home showcasing a new enjoyment for outdoor adventures,” explained Ashton’s Mother, Margo Barrett.

Barrett said the new After School Program is a blessing for the community and an amazing help to families.

“In order to build healthy communities, we must be present. Our programs give the community an opportunity to participate, volunteer and create connections,” explained Shilo Boucher, President and CEO at the YMCA of Greater Saint John.

“As our partnership with communities in Eastern Charlotte County grows, we hope people will feel a stronger sense of belonging and greater connection to their community.”