A Story of Empowerment – Maryse Guinez Coly

Date: 03 September 2012

Though some might have concerns about someone as young as 27 taking on the huge responsibility that comes with being President of a YMCA, no one could but admire the extraordinary grace and maturity with which Maryse Guinez Coly takes on the role.

Maryse lives in Senegal, and loves to read and travel. Both of these pastimes allow her to escape, providing her with new perspectives on our world. Maryse uses these perspectives in her work with her other major passion: the YMCA. She says, “apart from my work and my studies, most of my energy is focused on the YMCA.”

The primary program that she works on is Subject to Citizen (or S2C) which seeks to engage young people with the important issues faced by their community, their country, and the world.

Maryse does not only share these values with other young people, but truly practices what she preaches. Maryse has transformed herself from subject to citizen when it comes to the environment. She does not sit idly by as political leaders ignore climate change as a key global issue. As a youth who will soon inherit what she sees as a crumbing earth, Maryse thinks it is essential to tackle environmental issues now, before it is too late.

Using the YMCA as her space to learn and challenge herself, Maryse has been able to transform herself and find her passion for empowering young people and protecting the environment, with which she hopes to create a strong impact in the world.