your Y, your community

THOSE WHO JOIN THE Y become part of a community committed nurturing the potential of kids, improving health and well-being, and giving back and supporting our neighbors. Because we continue to surpass our goals in fundraising each year, we are able to extend our reach and do more for the community.

Youth Development

youth and govtFUTURE LEADERS
Youth & Government

Each year in February, Mission Valley Y sends a group of delegates delegates to Sacramento for the annual California YMCA Youth and Government Model Legislative & Court program. They are among thousands of high school students gathered to experience government firsthand and learn how to solve community problems through the democratic process. When you support the Y, you support these future leaders. The majority of our Mission Valley delegates receive scholarships through our Annual Support Campaign.

Summer Youth Institute
Each summer, a group of high-school students attend the Summer Youth Institute at Mission Valley YMCA. They, along with alumni from previous summers, complete an an eight-week program in digital arts. The teens gained leadership and academic skills while exploring digital story telling, graphic design, robotics and photography.

Students create a magazine and short films, attended a week-long wilderness retreat and explored careers. See more highlights on the Youth Institute page.

With a mission to accelerate academic achievement and to prepare youth for college and career opportunities, Y Summerbridge offers some 150 students the chance to participate in a fully subsidized, five-week academic enrichment program. With a STEM-based curriculum, the students experienced project-based learning and developed social, emotional and leadership skills in a safe and positive environment. Note: Approximately 95 percent of the children will be the first in their families to attend college. See Summerbridge.

Literacy skills
More than 3,500 students in 26 schools receive free character development and literacy curriculum, provided by caring youth development staff from the Y.

PLAY program
Children at a dozen local schools receive instruction in physical fitness, health education and character development. PLAY (Physical Learning Activities for Youth) aims to bring the fun back into healthy living.

Summer Camp

The long days of summer can be a stressful time for working parents. Mission Valley Y's summer day camps provide the safety parents require with the fun kids desire. Last summer:

  • We serve more than 800 children per week at Mission Valley and Toby Wells YMCAs, and 1 out of every 12 campers receive a scholarship to attend, providing a traditional camp experience that those families otherwise couldn't afford.
  • We fill five weeks of Camp I Can, the only camping program in San Diego serving children on the autism spectrum.
  • And students from Montgomery Middle School in Linda Vista spend a week at Camp Marston, our mountain retreat in Julian. The trip is made available at no cost to the students, and for many, it is a first trip away from home.


  • We partnered the Skinny Gene Project to bring Jump Start for Health, an important diabetes prevention program to our members, free of charge.
  • Each year in April, hundreds of families spend the afternoon at Toby Wells Y for Healthy Kids Day, a nationwide Y celebration that highlights the importance of being active and staying healthy. The whole community is invited to play games, dance, exercise and swim.
  • water safetyAs part of National Drowning Prevention Month in May, we provide free introductory Safety Around Water classes. A couple of times per year, we run Splash Week introductory swim sessions, providing a week of affordable, introductory swim/water safety classes for children who are learning to swim.
  • Our friends at Brigantine Seafood Restaurants and Miguel's Cocina Mexican Restaurants provided food for all our amazing preschool teachers in May, feeding the team that is fueling our children's growth.
  • The Y opens its doors to the community on various holidays throughout the year, including New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Presidents Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day and Independence Day.
  • At Thanksgiving time, Sprouts Chula Vista & Eastlake and Ron Coh donated bags filled with food for 500+ families we serve through our outreach programs.
  • The Mission Valley Y's Zumba team, led by our own Maryann Nowell, continued an annual tradition by performing at December Nights in Balboa Park.
  • Last December, volunteer coaches from the San Diego Chargers and law enforcement put on a Jr. Chargers Training Camp at Toby Wells Y for 65 children in the Y's Character Builders program! In partnership with the NFL's Play 60 campaign, we're encouraging our students to be active and healthy.
  • Thanks to generous donations from our members and the community, more than 500 schoolchildren received holiday gifts and celebrated with their families at the Y.
  • The Y joined joined U.S. Bank for Give The Gear event at the Holiday Bowl
  • Volunteers from the Y partnered with the San-Diego-Padres and nearly 100 total volunteers help clean up the San Diego River!
  • The San Diego Gulls held a blood drive at the Y in the fall, helping to fill an urgent need for the San Diego Blood Bank.
  • Fourth graders at Longfellow Spanish Immersion School learned about the Y's core values — of Caring, Respect, Honesty and Responsibility — through agames, skills and drills with players visiting from the Padres’ new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic!
  • Rescue 5, one of two surviving FDNY rescue trucks that responded to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, stopped at Toby Wells Y. Local schoolchildren and members were able to view artifacts recovered at Ground Zero, with kid-friendly illustrations and age-appropriate curriculum shared by volunteers from the Remembrance Rescue Project.


Join One, Join All
In January, we introduced All Access membership, opening the doors of every Y in the county to every member. Now you can catch a workout at the Y near your office and take a swim with your kids at the Y near your home! New: Y members have access to every location in Southern California!

New this year, the Y's in San Diego introduced KickStart, a 30-day exercise program designed to get you started on the routine of exercise and healthy living. Thousands of members have taken advantage of this new member benefit, designed to help you make connections with our staff, facilities and programs.


New Equipment & Facility Upgrades
We are committed to maintaining our equipment and facilities for our members. New this year:

  • Strength equipment: Mission Valley added the HD Elite, Queenax and Cybex's Sparc trainer and Eagle NX line
  • Locker rooms: We remodeled the locker rooms at Toby Wells Y.
  • Cardio equipment: After 674,757 recorded workouts since 2013, new cardio equipment arrived at Toby Wells in June.
  • The Kids Clubhouse opened at Mission Valley and Toby Wells Ys, allowing us to expand and our Child Watch program and provide dedicated space and programming for different ages groups.
  • Cycles: New Stages indoor cycles at both Mission Valley and Toby Wells Y in August.


Clash at Clairemont

The 10th anniversary of our Clash at Clairemont event drew more than 1,700 attendees to watch the best in action sports and enjoy music, food and family fun. Top athletes come together at the Clash each year to "crush cancer" in an all-day celebration of skate. The event raises money to benefit the Y and Grind for Life, an organization which provides scholarships to cancer patients and their families.

More events:

  • Bike-A-Thon: Our dedicated group exercise instructors lead a marathon cycling event to raise funds for children and families in the Y community. This fun event draws hundreds of riders and supporters. Your chance to get involved is Bike-A-Thon 2017, Jan. 28, 2017.
  • Zumbathon: You packed the house at our annual Zumbathon fundraiser at Toby Wells Y in February.
  • Fit for a Cause: Our sports arena at Toby Wells Y was packed for the Fit for a Cause workout and fundraiser in February. Five instructors led a fun, challenging Friday morning workout!
  • Carnival: Our annual gala brought the tastes and sounds of Rio to life at SeaWorld for more than 400 attendees, who generously participated in silent and live auctions, with all proceeds benefiting the Y.

Help A Little or A Lot!

We rely on our volunteers year round. If you can help out for an hour, a day, a week or all year, we'd love to meet you and help you find a project you'll enjoy. Contact Toni Arias, [email protected], or call (619) 298-3576.