Our Culture and Values

At the YMCA, our culture and core values make up the essential principles that guide us in everything we do. Every day, we work to ensure that all people have access to the opportunities, relationships and resources necessary to learn, grow and thrive.


Our Culture and Values

Building Our Future

The Y is a powerful organization comprised of individuals who have a shared commitment to nurturing young people, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. Strengthening community is our purpose, and that's why we believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together.

Our Staff by the Numbers

  • 16,500

    full-time staff in 10,000 communities across the country

  • 28 years

    In 1994, the Y defined "character" as the demonstration of four core values: caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Today, these values continue to guide everything we do.

  • 230,000

    Over 230,000 people of all backgrounds and skills volunteer their time and talent for Ys across the country.



Show a sincere concern for others



Be truthful in what you say and do



Treat each other as we’d all like to be treated



Be accountable for your promises and actions

Guiding Beliefs

  • When we focus our attention on the Y’s mission, work in partnership with others and build on our history of innovation, we can address the most pressing issues of our time like no other organization.
  • All people have potential.
  • Active and connected families make active and connected communities.
  • We take a holistic approach to fostering development, promoting healthy spirit, mind and body.
  • In a diverse world, we are stronger when we are inclusive and our doors are open to all.
  • We seek to honor our mission, act in accordance with our values and place the greater good above all.

Our Culture:

Every day and in everything we do, we strive to create a culture that is welcoming, genuine, hopeful, nurturing and determined for all our staff, members, program participants and volunteers.

  • Welcoming

    We’re open to all and create spaces where you can be, belong and become.

  • Genuine

    We value who you are and encourage you to be true to yourself and others.

  • Hopeful

    We believe in your ability to inspire a brighter tomorrow.

  • Nurturing

    We are with you in your journey to develop your full potential.

  • Determined

    We work relentlessly to strengthen communities, starting with you.


Watch more Y stories

  • Our Culture: The Y

    The Y is here to transform lives. Every day, we strive to do our best and be our best. We invite you to join us.

Find Your Y

Ready to learn more? Search below for Ys with openings near you.


Living Our Culture

The Y thrives because of the diverse, welcoming and supportive people who work to advance our mission, every day.

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    At the Y, we want everyone to feel a sense of belonging. Our diversity is our strength, and we're committed to welcoming and including everyone, ensuring they can access the opportunities they need to reach their full potential.

  • Volunteer

    Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. They embody a spirit of service, support and selflessness. If this resonates with you and you are passionate about giving back to your community, please join us.

  • Career Opportunities

    We have a range of roles looking to be filled by people who are as passionate about serving our communities as we are. Search our open positions to find a role that fits your skills and interest.