When one of the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s more than 5,000 dedicated staff, heard about the Y’s Donald G. Lawson Leadership Development Scholarship, she jumped at the opportunity — and was accepted. The opportunity is making a huge difference. “This scholarship has given me the opportunity to study at the university level for the first time,” she says. “It has also greatly increased my ability to better manage myself as a leader, and strengthened my confidence.”
More than 70 YMCA of Greater Toronto staff were honoured last week at our inaugural YMCA Learning Celebration. The event recognized a group of employees who have been exemplary in their commitment towards ongoing learning and development, and the generous donors and supporters who help enable the Y to provide these opportunities for our staff.
Our scholarships and programs provide YMCA staff with continuous learning opportunities including international experiences, leadership development training, and funding for educational programs and courses.
“Continuous skill-building and knowledge sharing improves the YMCA for all of our staff, volunteers, and members,” says Melanie Laflamme, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development. Melanie also expresses her gratitude to the donors, to Henry Labatte, past President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto, and The Counselling Foundation, in the name of Donald G. Lawson, for their generosity and continued commitment in support of continuous learning and the YMCA.
“When I received approval for the Lawson scholarship, I felt very honoured and excited for this new opportunity,” says one recipient. “What I appreciate the most about the initiative is the flexibility to choose the most appropriate type of learning suited to my individual learning needs.”
In addition to scholarships, the Y provides staff with a wide range of unique learning opportunities and partnerships, including the Harvard ManageMentor program. “Being able to log on to the Harvard ManageMentor site at any time of day and from anywhere with Internet access, has meant that I have flexibility to choose the way I would learn the content and be quizzed on my understanding of it,” says a ManageMentor participant.
Awardees were recognized at the celebration by the donors, Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto, along with senior leaders from the YMCA.