When you hear "YMCA" what is the first thing that pops into your head? For many people, it's a place to work out, a place for children to attend summer camps and learn to swim, and a really catchy song. But, the Y does so much more! YMCA Youth & Family Services serves San Diego's most vulnerable families and individuals free of charge or on a sliding scale, determined by income. We offer counseling, housing for Transitional Age Youth, supportive services for youth in the foster care system, and more!

We all know the power of positive connections on youth development and how these connections can have a significant effect on the potential of our youth. Here at YFS, we believe so strongly in the power of connection that we have dedicated nearly five decades of work ensuring everyone has a safe place to live, a reliable support system, encouragement to pursue their goals, and access to resources they need to flourish. Now, we want to bring this important conversation to a wider network of big-thinkers!

The Drawing Connections Experience will convene influencers and experts to drive dialogue and promote collaboration between science, lived-experience, innovators in youth service, health, justice, education, employment, and human services. At its core, the Drawing Connections Experience promotes social connection as a critical ingredient to success for youth and young adults. This conference is a way for us to advance the field of social science and youth development – but in unexpected and brilliant ways, and who wouldn't want to be a part of that?

We are excited to announce the Drawing Connections Initiative and our first-ever Drawing Connections Convening, to take place in September 2020. 

Attendees will: 

Be thinkers who engage with curiosity and thoughtful consideration of ideas on human connection. 

Listen to cross sector thinking on why connections are essential to progress and wellness. 

Will discuss the essential role of relationships in working with young people, and be challenged to consider how the role of connections can create well-being across the lifespan, across sectors, and across economic lines. 

Leave inspired with seeded ideas of how to incorporate relational thinking and values into their lives, communities, work places, and environment.  

What will success look like: Aligned visions of relational importance and emphasis on encouraging connection in varied settings. 

We look forward to seeing you there!