YWCA Corpus Christi History
Since its inception in 1945, the YWCA Corpus Christi has continuously celebrated women’s contributions and achievements. The organization has supported women and families in achieving their full potential and leading productive lives. The history of the YWCA reflects the concurrent interests and needs of the women who looked to the YW for support and for a sense of community.
In the 1950s, the YWCA led the community, and even the nation, by opening the only integrated pool in town, sponsoring the first integrated high school dance with the YWTeens and creating an environment that enabled Del Mar College to become the first college below the Mason-Dixon line to integrate – well before law required it.
The 1960s witnessed a larger female population moving into the workplace. The YWCA responded by establishing an outreach program to assist young women who were lacking job skills by teaching English, sewing, driver education, nutrition, leadership development and offering GED courses.
The 1970s and 1980s brought drugs, delinquency, high teen-pregnancy rates and family dissolution. In response, the YWCA Corpus Christi created the Intervention Center for pre-delinquent girls and women who were in trouble with the law. The organization also offered job referrals, career-skills development, and non-traditional job training for women entering the work force. Additionally, The Infant Center filled a glaring gap in local childcare services, allowing mothers to work in order to support their children.
Despite the increase in issues, the 1980s and 1990s triggered a renewed interest among women in self-actualization, parenting/family-development skills, and physical and spiritual wellness. Society in general, Corpus Christi girls and women in particular, sought ways to develop their potential and not only create healthy families but support them as well. The YWCA offered “Young Moms” programs that sought to lower parenting stress, disseminate effective discipline strategies and encourage the development of self-esteem in young parents and their children.
In early 2000 by parent request, the YWCA began Families and Their Future, which is a program that addresses communication techniques for parents when dealing with sensitive issues with their children. Furthermore, the organization supported the YWTeen Program, which assisted 5th and 6th grade girls in developing healthy lifestyles in order to achieve their full potential as productive, self-sufficient adults.
In 2005, we increased focus with fifth grade YWTeens to prepare them for middle school and added sixth grade groups to help with the transition to middle school. The program focused on developing leadership skills, communications expertise, and positive social interaction.
Overall, the YWCA Corpus Christi has over a half-century history of being a stable presence in the Coastal Bend community, offering proactive programs in integrated settings, and assisting girls and women of all social-economic backgrounds in achieving their potential.
The overall goals of the YWCA Corpus Christi are to enhance the power of young women and families throughout our community; to provide quality educational and developmental child care services for young children regardless of their socioeconomic status; and to provide comprehensive, yet affordable, fitness programs and services for our community’s families and seniors.
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