Everyone Say “YEAH!”

Students spend summer learning valuable life lessons
By Rachael Steward

Middle school students are spending their summer on the Seattle University campus. The university has teamed up with the Meredith Matthews East Madison YMCA to provide an academic and healthy living, middle school transition summer program, aptly dubbed “YEAH” (YMCA Enrichment, Academics and Health). 

Program participants are guided through the learning process by SU students and certificated teachers with emphasis on language arts and math.  SU’s student athletes are an integral component of this program modeling the importance of academics and healthy living.  Sports activities such as basketball, swimming, soccer and ultimate Frisbee sponsored by SU’s athletic department are provided every afternoon. 

The partnership with the Y has further expanded the impact of the university and the organization within the community.  In past summers the Y served 30 students transitioning to Washington and Hamilton Middle Schools.  As with most programs, participation is limited due to financial needs of participants’ families and the sponsoring organization.  But this year, thanks to The Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI), the coordination of meals, undergraduate volunteers and facility space, have been ample.  In addition to the Y camp, SU is partnering with several other summer youth programs that are engaging more than 150 youth in summer academic and enrichment activities.  These programs include: City of Seattle Upward Bound, City of Seattle Youth Employment Program, One World Now, a photography camp and a Yesler Community Center Summer Playground Program.   

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