Organization Overview

Founded

1954

Organization Type

  • Gymnasium/Fitness Center
  • Community Center

Issue Areas

  • Youth Development
  • Healthy Living
  • Social Responsibility

Executive Team

A full list of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles’ executive staff can be viewed here.

Board of Directors

A full list of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles’ board members can be viewed here.

Website

www.ymcala.org/southeast-rio-vista

The Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative is a network of organizations working together to strengthen the capacity of the nonprofit sector and increase civic engagement in Southeast LA. Founded in 2011 by eleven core organizations, the Collaborative seeks to revitalize the communities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Florence-Firestone, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Maywood, South Gate, Vernon, and Walnut Park.

Our “Collaborative Spotlight” series highlights the work and impact of our individual Collaborative members, each of whom have a long history of providing service to the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) region and advocating for its community members. In today’s post, we highlight the work and impact of the Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA.

Empowering SELA Youth and Families

Today’s featured collaborative member, the Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA, is a branch of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles (“the Y”), which has been empowering communities across Los Angeles for 130 years. By providing a range of services spanning health and wellness programs, child care, civic engagement initiatives, and more, the Y advocates for community empowerment and inclusivity and has become one of the most trusted organizations in Los Angeles. With 26 branches active across 100 miles of Los Angeles County and a community of over 264,500 members, the Y is also one of the most prominent organizations working for change in our communities.

The Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA, located in Maywood, has carried forth the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, and respect, and serves as a recreational center and critical pillar of the SELA community. Central to the Southeast-Rio Vista Y’s work is its diverse range of health and physical activity programs, which include group swimming lessons, exercise classes, strength training, and senior fitness programs. Additionally, Southeast-Rio Vista Y engages youth in fitness via programs such as ballet, dance, hip hop, baile folklorico, basketball, and more. These programs have empowered SELA residents to remain fit and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Promoting Civic Engagement in Southeast Los Angeles

More than just a hub for physical activity, the Southeast-Rio Vista Y provides a range of other services that benefit the surrounding communities. For example, in addition to its extensive list of health and fitness programs, the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles features the largest Youth and Government delegation in the country. The Y also offers immigrants’ rights information, citizenship classes, and ESL workshops to inform immigrant residents and help them become involved in their home communities. Through its civic engagement programs, the Y guides residents along the path to a civically engaged and informed life and mentors the next generation of civic leaders in Los Angeles.

The Y has also frequently partnered with other organizations to host events that inform our communities and engage residents in civic life. For example, earlier this year they partnered with the Pat Brown Institute and the League of Women Voters – Los Angeles to host a Board District 5 candidate forum led by youth and students. Through these events and programs, the Southeast-Rio Vista Y does its part to help ensure SELA’s residents are not only healthy and active, but also engaged in critical civic matters that affect their communities.

Building a Communitywide Service Ethic in SELA

As part of the Collaborative, the Y’s expertise in crafting civic engagement programs has been invaluable in shaping our own civic engagement strategy. Primary delegate Juan De La Cruz, who has been involved with the Collaborative since its inception, has served as an experienced voice of leadership as chair of our civic engagement committee and a longtime member of our steering committee.

“It has been an honor sharing the Y’s expertise and resources with an organization as committed to change as the SELA Collaborative,” Mr. De La Cruz says. “Through our involvement with the Collaborative, we are building on the Y’s commitment to civic engagement and collaborating with peer organizations to ensure our communities can thrive,” he continues. “We are excited for the future of this partnership, and we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished together so far.”

Thanks to its variety of programs and commitment to caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, the Southeast-Rio Vista Y has served as not only a physical fitness center, but also a hub for social and civic engagement in Maywood and surrounding cities. Additionally, through its suite of youth and leadership programs, the Y has served as a key advocate for civic engagement in our region and a great resource for SELA’s future civic leaders. By any measure, they are a force for change in our communities, and we as a collaborative look forward to continuing to work with Southeast-Rio Vista Y as we inform, engage, and empower the SELA region.–

Southeast-Rio Vista YMCA Delegate in SELA Collaborative

Juan De La Cruz

Juan De La Cruz

Senior Vice President of Community Development

Interested in Volunteering?

The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles offers many ways to get involved, including coaching sports teams, mentoring teens, and providing support for family progams. To learn more, visit www.ymcala.org/southeast-rio-vista/volunteer

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