LOS ANGELES — Teens will get in for free at YMCAs throughout Los Angeles County this summer, it was announced April 25.
The “Get Summer” program offers free memberships to teens aged 12-17 at all 26 YMCA locations in Los Angeles County during June and July.
The YMCA locations participating in the free summer membership program stretch to the edges of Los Angeles County, and include YMCAs in Lancaster, Monrovia and San Pedro, as well as in Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.
The goal is to sign up at least 10,000 teens with free memberships this summer, YMCA Metropolitan Los Angeles President Alan Hostrup said.
Free meals will also be provided by the Los Angeles Unified School District at some YMCA locations with “high need,” and part-time jobs at the YMCA will be available to young people aged 14-24, according to Juan De La Cruz, vice president of community development of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles.
De La Cruz said a typical family membership is about $32 a month, but the YMCA does not typically turn away people, “so it’s free anyway.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Unified School District board President Steve Zimmer and county Supervisor Hilda Solis joined YMCA officials to announce the free membership promotion.
“Not everyone can afford to send kids to camp, but summer vacation is really, really important,” Garcetti said.
“It’s what actually makes or break the education” of young people in Los Angeles, he said, adding, “It’s a great chance for our kids to enjoy life, play, to unwind, to enjoy the sunshine.”
He said he goes to the YMCA in Hollywood, and considers it one of the few places “where you see your entire city” and where people of all ages and walks of life see each other as they take spin class, use the pool and participate in other activities.
“The YMCA in L.A. is truly an outstanding force for good in our communities, serving half a million Angelenos each year,” Solis said. “The Summer Youth Jobs Initiative is just one of many ways the Y demonstrates its commitment to the health, safety, and future of our communities.”
“The commitment of the YMCA, the city, and the district is to make sure every child in L.A. has a meaningful, safe, and enriching summer,” Zimmer said. “Possibility, potential and dreams don’t stop during the summertime. This announcement means that services to support those dreams, will not take a vacation.”