Jazmyn Hudson Returns to the YMCA of Greater Brandywine as Sr. Association Director of Teen Development
Hudson to lead development of programs to support youth between the ages of 12 and 21.
The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) is thrilled to welcome back Chester County native, Jazmyn Hudson, as Sr. Association Director of Teen Development. Hudson rejoins YGBW after serving in Youth and Community Development roles, as well as operations, at the YMCA in Central Maryland for five years. She previously served in Human Resources and Youth Programming for YGBW.
“It’s a full-circle moment for me,” shares Hudson. “I grew up in Chester County, went to the Jennersville YMCA as a child, attended West Chester University and started my career right here at YGBW. I never dreamed that I’d be living out my passion – right where I grew up.”
Big Opportunity, Big Commitment
In her new role, Hudson will support the developmental needs of Chester County youth between the ages of 12 and 21 by developing programs and services related to mentorship, career development and public policy. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, there are nearly 70,000 youth between the ages of 12 and 21 in the region, making up nearly 13% of the Chester County population.
“We have an exciting opportunity to fill a need in the community,” continues Hudson. “There is a lack of programming for older youth - at a key time when they are discovering their authentic selves and are exposed to a number of influences. The Y can be a pathway for teens, embracing their energy, highlighting their talents and providing guidance toward the future. And since the Y has a wide breadth of services, we have the chance to make a big difference.”
Not only does the Y have the opportunity to make a big difference, they also plan to make a big commitment to local teens.
“We plan to invest $1.4MM in program development over the next two years,” shares Bertram L. Lawson II, President & CEO of YGBW. “A portion of these funds will be used to fuel the development of teen programming – which is crucial to the health of our community. I continue to read headlines about the hardships facing youth and families across the country and right here at home. I’m proud that our investment will be part of the solution.”
“Creating opportunities for teens in our community is a top priority of YGBW,” comments Heather W. Wilson, Chief Strategy and Growth Officer. “Youth Development is one of the three pillars of our mission and we view teens as a gift to the community - with many talents to share. At the Y, we want to be part of the teen journey, helping them grow and develop their talents and passions.”
“We’re prepared to invest time and resources to meet the growing needs of youth between the ages of 12 and 21,” continues Wilson. It’s a big undertaking and I can’t think of a better person to lead it than Jazmyn. She will lead our organization, our community and our youth in the best direction possible.”
Communication and Collaboration
YGBW has a wide reach in the county, serving more than 60,000 people through membership and more than 4,500 children and their families through childcare services. Yet there is more work to be done to ensure that the community is aware of vital services provided by the Y.
“I grew up going to the Jennersville Y to swim, play basketball and meet up with my friends,” Hudson reflects. “However, I missed out on the opportunity to attend Y summer camp or participate in any of the Y programs because I believed my family couldn’t afford it – or, more accurately, I wasn’t aware that we could.”
“We need to spread the word that the YMCA is much more than a gym and swim,” she continues. “We are a hub of health, wellness and community – and are available for everyone. And we truly mean everyone.”
In addition to increasing awareness of YGBW’s mission and financial assistance program, which enabled more than 11,000 families to afford childcare, youth programs, and health services in 2022, Hudson sees an opportunity to collaborate across the community to serve teens. No organization is too big or too small to lend a hand.
“When we align goals and combine efforts, we achieve so much more – and the community benefits,” Hudson says. “Whether your organization is a hospital, a restaurant, a retailer or even a car dealer, you have a connection to teens in our community and have the opportunity to make a positive impact.”
Community members and organizations can join YGBW in supporting youth development by donating to or sponsoring teen programming. Learn more and contribute at https://ymcagbw.org/give.
Paving a Path to the Future
Above all, Hudson wants to build a path to the future for local teens - helping them develop their passions, discover potential careers, expand their horizons to see the world outside of their own vantage point and understand the difference they can make.
“I love working with teens because I learn from them every day,” Hudson says. “There is often a negative perception about older youth and my goal is to transform that perception – both in the minds of the community and also in the minds of teens.”
“Teens have an unmatched energy and are authentic and helpful. Whether through passion projects, volunteer work or starting their first jobs, teens have a lot to contribute to our community.”
Leaning on a Strong Foundation
Hudson began her Y journey more than 12 years ago working in sports, after school enrichment and summer camp while attending West Chester University. After graduation she joined YGBW as a Human Resources Coordinator, later transitioning into Youth Programming to follow her passion.
She is actively involved with local, national and global YMCA efforts to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She currently serves as the Co-Vice Chair for YUSA’s National African American Resource Network.
About Youth Development: https://ymcagbw.org/youth-development
About YMCA Mission: https://ymcagbw.org/about/cause
About Financial Assistance Program: https://ymcagbw.org/membership/financialassistance
About the YMCA of Greater Brandywine
The YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW), an association of nine YMCAs and Program Centers serving Chester County, is a leading non-profit organization committed to building community. We strive to nurture the potential of every child, promote healthy living and foster social responsibility through life-changing programs for all. YGBW raises funds to provide financial assistance to those unable to pay the standard rates. In 2022, $2.1 million was provided to more than 11,000 individuals to ensure they had access to childcare, summer camp, programs and memberships at YGBW. More than 60,000 people are members of YGBW. To learn more, visit ymcagbw.org.