New YMCA Leaders Club has big plans

Published 11:42 pm Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ashlyn Goodwin still remembers how the YMCA of Selma-Dallas County Leaders Club influenced her life when she was in middle school and high school, so she’s brought it back to her hometown.

The Leaders Club, which is for youth in seventh to twelfth grade, held its first meeting Monday. Goodwin, who just moved back to town and teaches at Selma High School, knew it was important to bring Leaders Club back because of the difference it can make in the lives of youth.

“It definitely gave me some definition about myself,” Goodwin said. “For me to surround myself with Leaders Club, they were big brothers and big sisters to me.”

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Goodwin is excited about the changes the revived Leaders Club will be able to make in the community

“It can make an incredible difference,” Goodwin said. “When all the members of the YMCA see all the activities we are going to do specifically for the youth, I hope that it fires up a change in the involvement in the YMCA and in Selma.”

Goodwin said she is already planning a parent’s night out, where the Leaders Club will entertain youth while their parents have a date night.

“We will take kids swimming, feed them, watch movies, play games and they will just be worn out by the time they go back for the night,” Goodwin said.

She’s also looking at teaming up others from the YMCA for a trunk or treat around Halloween and a “lock in” where the Leaders Club would entertain children ages 5-10 during an all-night sleep-in.

“Leaders Club is an organization that works with the community with outreac, but we start within the YMCA,” Goodwin said. “Most of our volunteering will be in the YMCA but during that time we will teach the members of the leaders club mind, body and spirit, which is what the YMCA is all about.”

Ann Murray, CEO of the YMCA, said she is excited the new Leaders Club and the impact it can have.

“The hope is that these age kids will be inspired about leadership and will come into the YMCA and go out into the community and be leaders,” Murray said.

Goodwin said 10 youth were at the initial meeting for Leaders Club, but she’s hoping for a group of about 30.

Leaders Club will meet every other Monday at the YMCA.

Registration is still ongoing and costs $45 for members and non-members. Applications can be picked up at the front desk of the YMCA.