Helping Kids Find Their Belonging in Our Community

Guest: Darcy Swan | Season 10, Ep. 441

“Kindness is showing an investment to each other.” – Darcy Swan

A recent study revealed that two in three millennials don’t feel like they belong in their local community. Looking a little further up the stream, another study showed that one in five students don’t feel like they belong at their school. There’s a growing void developing among the younger generations, who are looking for who they are in this great big world – and the YMCA wants to close that gap for them. Join Dr. Michelle Robin as she invites Darcy Swan from the Y to talk about why they’ve implemented specific Youth Development Services in our community to help kids find their belonging and develop a purpose in life. Darcy will also share some impactful encounters she had during her school years that led her into a teaching profession and later to the Y. The power of kindness will also become a cornerstone in this conversation, which proves how far small acts go in another person’s life – such as calling someone by name or remembering what they are interested in. At the end of the show, Darcy will provide some wisdom to families looking to improve their overall well-being.

About Today’s Guest:

Darcy Swan is Senior Vice President of Youth Development at the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. She provides leadership and strategy while building relationships to advance before and after school, summer day camp, preschool, and other YMCA out-of-school time programs throughout the greater Kansas City area. Prior to joining the YMCA in 2022, she was an executive director of curriculum and instruction for Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools. She started her career in education with the Shawnee Mission School District as a middle school teacher and served in multiple advancing roles in the Shawnee Mission district including district resource specialist, interim elementary principle, and elementary curriculum coordinator.

The Y is the largest provider of childcare services in the greater Kansas City area, serving more than 4,600 youth a year through before- and after-school programs, in addition to 2,300 youth a year in summer day camps. The Y provides before- and after-school programs and summer-day camps in districts throughout the metro, including Blue Valley, Bonner Springs, Lansing, Leavenworth, Lee’s Summit, Piper, Platte County R-3, Shawnee Mission, Spring Hill, and Turner, as well as Crossroads Charter Schools, University Academy, Ascension, and St. Ann.


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