The Gateway Family YMCA Supports 7th Grade Students with Free Memberships


The Gateway Family YMCA provides free memberships for all 7th Grade students as part of the NJ YMCA 7th Grade Initiative. Providing services for Eastern Union County and Northern Middlexsex County, The Gateway Family YMCA has branches in Elizabeth, Rahway and Union, NJ.  All 7th Grade students from the surrounding areas are invited to visit the YMCA and join for free.

The 7th Grade Initiative is designed to increase physical activity and support teens in the development of lifetime healthy habits.  “At The Gateway Family YMCA, we recognize that 7th grade is a pivotal time in youth development, where sports become more competitive and many teens begin to become less active,” stated Krystal. R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA.  “We believe in providing these students with a positive environment, where healthy habits can be learned and reinforced, where new friendships can be made, and where positive programs and role models are part of the daily routine,” added Melynda A. Mileski, COO.  

At The Gateway Family YMCA, students within Elizabeth, Rahway, Union and the surrounding communities are invited to visit the Y with a parent/guardian and proof of grade to sign up for the free membership.  Students are invited to participate in programs and services offered by the YMCA, and are provided with a complimentary Full Privilege membership.  “Our goal is to provide support for these teens, allowing them to strengthen healthy behaviors, remain active, gain a better understanding of nutrition and the importance of continuing these habits into their adult lives,” stated Thomas Galuppo, Youth and Family Director, Five Points Branch.   
The Gateway Family YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization of caring staff and volunteers dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community and stands For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility. The Y impacts the community by providing quality services to people of all ages, races, faiths or incomes.  

For more information about The Gateway Family YMCA or the 7th Grade Initiative, please visit or contact the Elizabeth Branch at 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch at 908-688-9622, or Rahway Branch at 732-388-0057. 

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