On A Mission: Blessings’ Story

YWCA helps over 2 million of women and families each year in a variety of community programs including youth services. Below, Blessings Hill, who participated in the Teen Services Program at YWCA Rochester & Monroe County, shares her story.

I have been involved in YWCA’s Teen Services Program since I was 15 years old, when I became pregnant with my first child. More than 7 years later, YWCA is still an important part of my life.

Send Us Your Stories

YWCASAR_AlternateLogo USA is now accepting blog submissions from young women and girls of color under 21 as part of our 2016 Stand Against Racism campaign. Throughout the campaign, which is themed “On a Mission for Girls of Color,” we will highlight issues that impact girls of color such as racial profiling in school, access to safe play, and healthcare.

Want to share your story? Send submissions of 700 words or less by March 31 to communications@ywca.org. If your submission is selected, we’ll feature it on YWCA USA’s blog and share it on our social media channels.

We hope to hear from you!

The White House Honors Young Women Empowering Their Communities

StaceyMeadowsBy Stacey Meadows

Development Associate, YWCA USA

Last week, the White House Champions of Change – Young Women Empowering Their Communities. The program honored 11 young women who are empowering their communities every day through leadership, advocacy, and just all out #girlpower! It was such an honor to hear the amazing stories of strength and perseverance that these young women have.

The YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women seemed to echo throughout the event. Each honoree had passion, a strong voice, and resilience to withstand adversity in order to step forth and be a leader in their community.

It’s On Us to Shift How We Talk About Sexual Assault

By Doug Bair
Managing Editor, Generation Progress

In an event at the White House last month, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden launched the It’s On Us campaign in partnership with Generation Progress.

In a culture where one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college, it is more important than ever to engage in discussions that create a shift in the way we think about, talk about and act around sexual assault.

#WorkAgainstViolence: Sexual Assault

By Qudsia Raja
Advocacy & Policy Manager of Health and Safety, YWCA USA

Violence against women impacts the lives of countless women and their families across the United States. Women and girls of all ages, income levels, racial and ethnic communities, sexual orientations and religious affiliations experience violence in the form of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, trafficking and stalking.

National Voter Registration Day is Here!

By Desiree Hoffman
Director of Advocacy and Policy

Desiree Hoffman

Desiree Hoffman

The YWCA USA is excited to partner with Nonprofit VOTE for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) 2014 on September 23!

Close to 50 local YWCAs across the country are engaged in this day of democracy, and have pledged to register their own staff, or partner with allied organizations such as the League of Women Voters, to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. The stakes are high, with the entire House of Representatives up for grabs and one-third of the Senate up for re-election. And there’s a chance that the House of Representatives could be made up of 20% female Representatives for the first time in its history if key races are won.

Commemorating Women’s Equality Day

By Samantha Plotino
Mission Based Coordinator, YWCA Bergen County 

Samantha Plotino

Samantha Plotino

Historically, women in the United States have grappled with the perceived notion that they are not equal to men. It’s easy to forget that until 1920, women were not allowed to vote: they were, essentially, rendered voiceless.

Often subjected to a lesser status in society, women continue to fight for equality; a battle that has waged on for centuries. Thanks to some truly incredible women leaders – past and present – today’s women are graduating from college at increased rates, earning higher wages, and are better represented in all levels of government.

The Top 10 Questions to Ask About Your Title IX Rights on a College Visit

By Michaela Olson
Intern, NWLC

‘Tis the season for college visiting. As campuses across America are flooded with high school students this summer, there are some hard-hitting, crucial questions to keep in mind—and they may help to give you better perspective on where you could spend some of the most formative years of your life. Although it might not occur to many prospective students and their parents, one of those questions is how a school responds to reports of sexual harassment and assault. While it’s been in the news a lot lately, campus sexual assault isn’t just a hot topic or fodder for politicians and pundits, but rather a harsh reality for far too many. The more you know about how each school responds to it, the better.

Video Gaming and Tropes Against Women

By Monét Muñoz
Generation YW Youth Specialist, YWCA Greater Austin 

Monét Muñoz

Monét Muñoz

Video gaming has often been seen as a world dominated by a male audience, viewership, and consumership. However, more recently there has been a surge of women who are consuming this form of media at a rapid rate. In the late 2000s, Anita Serkeesian came onto the scene and changed the way we look at video gaming today. Sarkeesian is a media critic whose work focuses on “deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces.” In 2009, Sarkeesian began a video web series titled Feminist Frequency as a thesis for her Masters Degree at York University, in which she discusses how women are sidelined in the realm of video games.

Generation Progress: “Never Be Afraid to Take Educated Risks”

by Alexis Demandante and Gretchen Oertli 
Communications and Advocacy Interns, YWCA USA

Generation Progress hosted its annual Make Progress Summit last week, where millennials from across the DC area and from all over the country joined progressive leaders in discussing problems facing our generation. Workshops and panels covered topics like the student debt crisis, sexual assault on college campuses, gun violence prevention, and civic engagement, among others.

The ballroom of the hotel was packed with roughly 1,000 college students, interns, and avid activists.  Generation Progress lined up a star-studded list of guest speakers, including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Elizabeth Warren, all of whom expressed incredible optimism in the power of the millennial generation to make meaningful progress on these important issues.