The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles demonstrated its commitment to empowering future leaders at the Changemakers Summit, held at the Keystone Camp in Starke, Florida. The event focused on providing a transformative experience for 20 Global Change Agents and teen directors from Los Angeles, catering specifically to Generation Z—an influential, racially diverse generation in the global workforce. The Summit aligned with Forbes' recognition of Generation Z as leaders in global sustainability and emphasized the Y's mission to strengthen community foundations. This strategic approach centered on four key pillars: global service-leadership, civic engagement, workforce development, and health and wellness, tailored to harness the unique potential of Generation Z.
Engaging Sessions, Inspirational Learning, and a Holistic Experience
At the Changemakers Summit, engaging sessions on global leadership, wellness, and innovative thinking created a holistic and inclusive experience, resonating deeply with the young, enthusiastic audience. Keynote speakers and panelists from diverse backgrounds provided valuable insights. The integration of technology, social media, and opportunities for rest and reflection tailored the environment for young leaders. Networking and social events enriched the blend of education and personal development. Integral to the Summit's success was the squad dynamic, exemplified by “Squad Time” and “Squad Games,” focusing on character development, community building, and fostering teamwork. Combined with educational sessions, these elements underscored the Summit's commitment to holistic development and personal growth, creating an engaging and dynamic atmosphere for all participants.
LA Youth Taking Center Stage
At the Changemakers Summit, the LA Y significantly contributed through two key segments: the Global Change Agent (GCA) alumni presentations and the Innovation Project proposals. GCA alumni, serving as keynote speakers, shared their extensive community work, including initiatives like "Vaccines for Vendors," aiding street vendors with COVID-19 vaccine information, and supporting Casas YMCA with unaccompanied minors at the border. Projects like "A Taste of LA" and "Listos for Action" also highlighted their commitment to local businesses and disaster preparedness, respectively. This presentation underscored the impact of youth-led, project-based learning in social justice and community well-being. Complementing this, the Innovation Project proposal segment showcased sustainable solutions proposed by groups, including the LA Y, who presented the top four ideas. These proposals, reflecting a deep commitment to social responsibility and creativity, await the announcement of the recipient for $1,000 in seed funding for the proposal, adding to the Summit's anticipation and excitement.
The LA Y showcased its commitment to future leadership at the Summit, with notable success in the Icon Awards. Four out of six awards went to LA cohort members, illustrating the Summit's effectiveness in equipping young leaders for community change. The Changemakers Summit 2023 emerged as a key catalyst for a sustainable and just world, with the LA cohort leading the charge in inspiring positive change for the nation's future. To learn more about our Global Change Agents youth program and other teen programs available at your local Y, click here.