Welcome YMCA Change Agents Cohort 5.0!

Date: 05 April 2023

Today, 120 Change Agents from 57 countries met for the first time virtually. They had the chance to greet one another, meet in small groups, learn what to expect over the coming year, and hear from experienced YMCA leaders about how to make the most of the experience.

“You are destined to be impacting your YMCAs in a positive way by the time you graduate, in ways unforeseen by you or us”, said World YMCA President Soheila Hayek. “This will be a truly transformational programme, one that will make that impact possible. You will reshape the world from what you see today to what you want to see in the course of your lifetime”.

The latest cohort of Change Agents was announced at the 20th World Council, and applications were received from late December 2022 through 15 March 2023. Pending final confirmations, the complete Change Agent list will be shared soon.

Carlos Sanvee, World YMCA Secretary General, said the Change Agents opportunity is “one of the best” young YMCA leaders will have. “With any opportunity comes responsibility. The Movement is here to support you and make sure your voice is heard on the issues important to you. Have fun but take it seriously, and you will make positive change in your community and globally”.

Over the next year, Team Champions, Individual Mentors and partnerships will play important roles in the programme. Kevin Frey, the CEO of Generation Unlimited, encouraged the new cohort. Gen U connects young people to opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and social impact,

“The Change Agents programme is investing in the world’s greatest asset: The potential of young people. You will be creating local solutions to the challenges you are facing”, Kevin said. “Take risks, be courageous and embrace failure. The harder you work, the luckier you’ll get”.