The duo were on hand as the White House recognized 12 YMCA leaders and Y Partners as Champions of Change for their efforts in transforming communities and making them better places to live.
From addressing child hunger and reducing obesity, to improving education for kids and caretakers,
each of the 12 honorees has played an instrumental role in strengthening community.
“It was tremendously exciting to be part of this,” said Haley. “To have the ability to join a larger group like this is quite an opportunity. We were able to share our local Y story and showcase some of the important work we’ve been doing in Cleveland. It helps us as an organization go from making an impact to being truly transformative.”
Created as part of President Barack Obama’s Winning the Future initiative, the Champions of Change program features individuals, businesses and organizations that are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.
Through the Champions of Change program, the White House and YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) have selected individuals who share the Y’s commitment to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and
“Across America, the Y works every day to address the most pressing social needs of our communities,” said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO, Y-USA. “We are able to rise to this challenge thanks to the Champions of Change we are honoring today, and the thousands of Y staff, volunteers and partners nationwide whom they represent.”
Honorees represent YMCA staff, volunteers, board members, as well as corporations and foundations that partner with Ys across the country to implement programs and initiatives that support the Y’s efforts to nurture the potential of youth, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and give back and support neighbors.
The YMCA leaders and partners honored as Champions of Change include: Peggy Brown, Director of Early Childhood Education, YMCA of Greater Cincinnati; Greg Coop, CEO, Moultrie YMCA ; Mike DeVaul, SVP of Organizational Advancement, YMCA of Greater Charlotte (NC) ; Julie Gehrki, Senior Director, Walmart Foundation; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Scott Menzel, Superintendent, Washtenaw Intermediate School District; Alan Hostrup, President and CEO, YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles; JoAnn Price, Wilson-Gray YMCA, Hartford; John Urban, Rochester Health Foundation; Dr. William won-kyu Lee, YMCA New American Programs; Giselle Schneider, Armed Services YMCA; and The Seattle Y’s Youth Violence Prevention Initiative.