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At the Y, we strive to strengthen Chicago by promoting academic readiness, character development, violence prevention and fitness and healthy living. A crucial part of our mission is keeping the public up to date on our progress and letting them know how they can help.

Recent Press Releases


YMCA to host more than 400 supporters at 3rd Annual The Y. So Much More Recognition Dinner

October 03, 2016 — The YMCA of Metro Chicago’s 2016 Recognition Dinner on October 27 will highlight the programs supporting the Y’s mission to develop strong children, families and healthy communities across Metropolitan Chicago through academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, and fitness and healthy living.

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YMCA of Metro Chicago Receives $1.4 Million Grant from Robert R. McCormick Foundation

June 20, 2016 — YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago's Early Learning Program receives a $1.4 million grant from the McCormick Foundation

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New YMCA Center marks new era for staff, families and communities across Metro Chicago

March 30, 2016 — The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago will celebrate the opening of the new YMCA Center, a 60,000 square-foot-facility where research meets practice, on Tuesday, April 5, at 1030 W. Van Buren Street in Chicago's bustling West Loop neighborhood. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will mark the culmination of two years of planning and construction of a state-of-the-art facility that provides much more than the nonprofit’s new headquarters.

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YMCA of Metro Chicago Transfers Ownership of Leaning Tower Replica

November 17, 2015 — The YMCA of Metro Chicago is announcing its intent to donate the Leaning Tower replica to the Village of Niles, which has leased and maintained the building since 1995. The Village of Niles will restore the replica and pursue historical landmark designation

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The YMCA of Metro Chicago to Host 2nd Annual The Y. So Much More Recognition Dinner on October 29

October 16, 2015 — The YMCA of Metro Chicago will host more than 500 supporters, donors and friends at its second annual The Y. So Much More Recognition Dinner at the Four Seasons Chicago on Thursday, October 29, 2015. With a focus on early education and care and youth development, the YMCA celebrates its role in strengthening children, individuals and families at every life stage.

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Recent News & Articles


A conversation with Peter B. McNitt of BMO Harris

November 16, 2016

A conversation with Peter B. McNitt of BMO Harris

Peter McNitt discusses the importance of giving back and his commitment to the Y

YSVP Vet Volunteers for Others Who Served

November 14, 2016

YSVP Vet Volunteers for Others Who Served

YSVP outreach coordinator and U.S. Navy veteran William Schranz spent his Veteran's Day sprucing up a VFW Hall.

Rita Canning to Receive So Much More Than a Leader Award

October 26, 2016

Rita Canning to Receive So Much More Than a Leader Award

Longtime YMCA supporter Rita Canning, of Inverness, IL, will receive the honor at this year's The Y. So Much More. Recognition Dinner, taking place Oct. 27.

Chicago’s Former Gang Members Look to Leave Their Tattoos Behind

October 12, 2016

Chicago’s Former Gang Members Look to Leave Their Tattoos Behind

YSVP executive director Eddie Bocanegra weighed in on a Sept. 20 WBEZ story about Adrian Torres, a tattoo artist who performs a life-saving service in his free time — gang tattoo removal.

October 10, 2016

The Y’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention executive director quoted in online magazine Slate

YSVP's Eddie Bocanegra helps Slate magazine get to the bottom of Chicago's gang violence

Eddie Bocanegra on Law Enforcement and the Community on “In The Loop”

October 06, 2016

Eddie Bocanegra on Law Enforcement and the Community on “In The Loop”

Eddie Bocanegra, the executive director of the Youth Safety and Violence Prevention initiative, discussed recent police shootings in Chicago and elsewhere with three other community activists.

“Chicago Tonight” Looks at Violence in Chicago

October 05, 2016

“Chicago Tonight” Looks at Violence in Chicago

Eddie Bocanegra, executive director of the Y's Youth Safety and Violence Prevention initiative, took part in a solution-oriented panel discussion on violence in Chicago.

Urban Warriors Program on “American Graduate” Live National Broadcast

October 03, 2016

Urban Warriors Program on “American Graduate” Live National Broadcast

The YMCA of Metro Chicago's innovative violence cessation program Urban Warriors, which pairs veterans with youth, was featured on the American Graduate Day live broadcast on Saturday, Sept. 17.

September 19, 2016

Eddie Bocanegra a 4-Star Chicagoan

ABC7's Windy City Live spoke with YSVP Director Eddie Bocanegra about PTSD among inner-city youth for its new "4 Star Chicagoan" series.

August 29, 2016

South Side YMCA teams up with The Undefeated for a discussion on violence

Sports journalist Jemele Hall spoke with Jabari Parker, Cappie Pondexter and other at the South Side Y.

August 24, 2016

Peace march held in memory of Urban Warrior Abner Garcia

About 125 people attended a peace march held for slain Urban Warrior Abner Garcia, who dedicated his life to ending violence.

August 17, 2016

Urban Warrior vet Abner Garcia slain in random act of violence

Urban Warriors mentor Abner Garcia, dedicated to helping end youth violence, was slain August 15 in a random act of violence.

Thanks to Back 2 School Illinois, Y Kids Have School Supplies—and Fun

August 11, 2016

Thanks to Back 2 School Illinois, Y Kids Have School Supplies—and Fun

Back 2 School Illinois Distribution Day is a fun annual event where hundreds of children play games and receive free school-supply kits.

Eddie Bocanegra speaks to WTTW Chicago Tonight about the “code of silence”

June 28, 2016

Eddie Bocanegra speaks to WTTW Chicago Tonight about the “code of silence”

WTTW Chicago Tonight correspondent Brandis Friedman talked with Eddie Bocanegra, executive director of the Youth Safety & Violence Prevention initiative, about the code of silence that's often pervasive on the streets of Chicago.

WCIU You & Me This Morning shares the Y’s Pool Do’s And Don’ts

June 07, 2016

WCIU You & Me This Morning shares the Y’s Pool Do’s And Don’ts

The U's Jeanne and Melissa talk pool safety with Kyle Kamman, YMCA of Metro Chicago Senior Director of Aquatics

CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood features YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Urban Warriors

March 13, 2016

CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood features YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Urban Warriors

The Y’s Youth Safety and Violence Prevention (YSVP) Urban Warriors program was recently featured on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.

Vocalo’s The Barber Shop Show talks with the Y’s Story Squad about community violence

February 02, 2016

Vocalo’s The Barber Shop Show talks with the Y’s Story Squad about community violence

Story Squad participants Brian, Daniel, Jaime and Kevon joined WBEZ's Richard Steele on The Barber Shop Show to share their personal audio stories and how self-expression helps them to reconnect with their families and strengthen their communities.

NPR’s All Things Considered draws national attention to Urban Warriors

January 26, 2016

NPR’s All Things Considered draws national attention to Urban Warriors

Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered, visited the Kelly Hall YMCA to share how military veterans and Y outreach workers are building stable communities for young people in Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods through Urban Warriors.

November 09, 2015

YMCA of Metro Chicago applauds Governor Rauner and legislative leaders support of CCAP

Working families who rely on the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) to help support and improve the quality of life for their families are well-served by the compromise reached between Governor Rauner and legislative leaders.

The Y. So Much More™ 2015 Recognition Dinner raises $1 million for children and families

November 02, 2015

The Y. So Much More™ 2015 Recognition Dinner raises $1 million for children and families

More than 450 attendees came together on Oct. 29 to support the YMCA of Metro Chicago's mission throughout our world-class city and suburbs.

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