Photo of JP Garcia at Camp Stephens with other campers in the background

Juan Pablo Garcia may spend most of his time these days preparing for a career in business through his studies at the University of Manitoba, but he says his most important life-lessons were learned outside of the classroom.

“The Y has played a huge part in who I am today,” said Juan Pablo, or JP for short. “They helped me learn to be confident in who I am and I think that’s one of the most important lessons to learn, especially at a young age.”

With over 800,000 visits to Y Winnipeg programs and facilities this past year, it’s hard to imagine an organization that has a greater impact in the lives of Manitobans.

JP’s experience came primarily through the Y’s camp programs at Camp Stephens, which he says had a significant impact on his life growing up.

“Camp Stephens is an experience I wish every kid could have,” said JP. “What I loved most about it is that, even though I connected with so many incredible people, the trips were all about my connection with myself. The program helped me grow so much as a person, far more than I ever have anywhere else.”

JP is a great example of the Y helping people realize their full potential. People see themselves at the Y in many different ways, whether it be on the basketball court, working out in our fitness centres, or learning to swim in the pools. The Y creates spaces where everyone can belong and discover their unique strengths.

But that’s just part of the impact the Y has in our community. The Y is the largest child care provider in the province, with 38 centres and more than 1,700 children entrusted to them every day. Plus, they operate critical community programs such as youth and adult mental health programs and newcomer services.

And because the Y believes that every person deserves the opportunity to shine, close to 3,000 individuals per year receive financial support to access health, fitness and summer camp programming.

The Y is all about creating community and making sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed – something JP has very much taken to heart.

“I owe so much to the Y and now it’s my turn to give back to my community through the Y,” said JP. “I’ve worked as a camp counsellor and as part of the leadership staff at Camp Stephens and I’ve been able to help other kids discover who they are through their own adventure, making the same lifelong connections I did.”

The incredible impacts of Y Winnipeg are only made possible through community support. Whether people choose to make a charitable gift, become a member, or both, when people support the Y they give Manitobans the opportunity to shine.

Locations: Camp Stephens


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