To be a charitable non-profit organization that improves the quality of life in our communities through programs and services that strengthen the spirit, mind, and body for all.
Areas of Focus
Youth Development: Nurturing the potential of every child and teen. Strong children need a strong community committed to their success. We rise to the demand for more quality early childhood education, for social and emotional development opportunities, and engagement outside of the classroom – regardless of ability to pay.
Healthy Living: Improving the nation's health and well-being. A thriving community needs recreational offerings that bring people together and promote well-being. Valparaiso has a growing aging population looking to stay active and also strives to instill healthy lifestyle habits for our youth. We provide community and support for members seeking to live a healthier lifestyle or dealing with health concerns.
Social Responsibility: Giving back and providing support to our neighbors. A highly engaged community embraces family values, civic engagement, and fosters a caring, supportive environment. We serve as a community center and partner offering events, trainings and workshops, and multiple services to help families in need back on their feet.
Y For All
Diversity & Inclusion
Our Commitment to Inclusion: The Y is made up of people of all ages and from every walk of life working side by side to strengthen communities. Together we work to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability, age, cultural background, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender identity, ideology, income, national origin, race or sexual orientation has the opportunity to reach their full potential with dignity. Our core values are caring, honesty, respect and responsibility—they guide everything we do.
For all is a simple but powerful phrase. Without it, the Y mission is incomplete. Our commitment to inclusion creates better communities, a better country and a better world.
We know that the key to effectively empowering young people to reach their full potential, improving individual and community well-being, and inspiring action in our communities is a passionate, experienced and diverse array of staff, volunteers and members who value what everyone brings to the table. Working in 10,000 U.S. communities and more than 120 countries worldwide makes strong diversity and inclusion practices paramount for the Y.
- Recognizing that a diverse and inclusive organization is foundational to developing and engaging everyone across the entire Y spectrum. Our volunteers, members, program participants, families, leaders, staff, vendors, suppliers, donors, collaborators and the community at large all contribute to our efforts to make positive, lasting personal and social change.
- Believing we all benefit from the unique talents of our diverse staff. We encourage our 20,000+ Y staff to participate in our six national Employee Resource Groups, which offer opportunities to contribute, learn, network and share experiences as they progress in their careers.
- Having a supplier diversity program that seeks out talented minority and women-owned contractors and service providers.
- Offering Y staff and volunteers professional development and training programs that build key competencies to welcome, engage, serve and advocate for all segments of society.
We are passionate about strengthening communities and know that our ability to achieve it begins with reflecting and partnering with people from all walks of life.
YMCA Begins June 6, 1844
People have benefited from the YMCA for over 170 years. The YMCA was founded by George Williams in response to unhealthy social conditions arising in the big cities at the end of the Industrial Revolution. By the time Williams was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1894, there were 5,000 YMCAs in 24 countries and more than 500,000 members. The Y Movement reached the United States by 1851.
By the early 1900s, the Y began serving boys and older men in addition to young men. After World War I, women and girls became an active part of the Y Movement, and in the 1960s and 1970s, families became a major focus.
First YMCA 1896-1923
The first YMCA in Porter County was founded on the Valparaiso University Campus. Porter County community sees a need and organizes the Porter County YMCA. The charter is issued by the National YMCA.
Porter County YMCA Charter 1951
The Porter County YMCA facility was built on the corner of Washington and Chicago Streets.
New Facility Opens May 4, 2009
State-of-the-art facility located at 1201 Cumberland Crossing Drive opens at 5:00 a.m. with a total membership of 7,500 individuals. Today, our YMCA serves more than 16,000 individuals of all ages, incomes, faiths, abilities, and backgrounds in the healthy living options.
Pavilion Ribbon Cutting May 22, 2012
The Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce helps the YMCA celebrate the opening of its new, open-air, outdoor pavilion.
Valparaiso Family YMCA Expansion-Integrated Health Wing Opens January 2017
The Integrated Health addition serves members with a dedicated personal training area, mind and body studios and a meeting room. St. Mary Medical Center provides physical therapy services at the Y for patients in our community.
Today the Y engages more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the U.S. As the nations’ leading nonprofit committed to helping people and communities learn, grow and thrive. The Y’s programs nurture the potential of every child and teen, improve the nation’s health and well-being and support and serve our neighbors. The Y ensures that everyone has the opportunity to become healthier and more confident, connected and secure. Since its founding, the Y has grown into one of the largest volunteer organizations in the world, serving more than 45 million people in 120 countries. YMCAs have played a key role in the growth and strength of our global organization and continue to partner with Ys around the world to address critical social issues. Collectively, we use our resource help people reach their potential. We are committed to strengthening communities and bringing about positive change.