BASKING RIDGE, NJ–  Somerset County YMCA is offering all seventh grade students in Somerset County a free, one-year membership to encourage adolescents to develop healthy behaviors.

As part of this program, seventh graders will have access to Wellness Centers, pools, basketball gyms and group exercise classes specifically tailored to teens. Additionally, they can take part in many Y activities geared toward their age group, such as Friday night social events, an exciting overnight adventure program, volunteer opportunities and more.

Membership is valid September through August and is offered at Bridgewater YMCA, Hillsborough YMCA, Somerville YMCA and Somerset Hills YMCA. Students entering seventh grade can enroll by filling out a membership application and bringing their seventh grade schedule to the Welcome Desk at any branch.

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 As a cause-driven nonprofit organization, the Y is focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y’s Seventh Grade Membership program provides opportunities for teens to cultivate values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement.

The 7th grade membership program is a statewide initiative that was conceived by the NJ YMCA State Alliance in 2008 to support teens and encourage them to adopt healthy lifestyles at an age where they are tempted to make risky behavioral choices.

 In 2014, 364 seventh graders received free Y memberships to Somerset County YMCA branches.

 “As youth face the challenges of adolescence, it is crucial that they have a place where they feel they belong and are comfortable pursuing new interests and passions,” said David M. Carcieri, President and CEO of Somerset County YMCA. “We are pleased to able to support positive youth development by offering seventh graders a free membership giving them full access to our facilities and to programs that will help them develop lifelong, healthy habits.”

 The program allows seventh graders to participate in activities that encourage healthy living.

 “Our children were in the 7th Grade Membership program last year, and their enthusiasm never waned,” said Penny Iannella of Basking Ridge, mom of twins Chris and Lilli. “They enjoyed taking advantage of the opportunities to work out in the fitness center and play sports in the gym. And as parents, we felt comfortable in knowing they were active in a safe environment.” 

 “Chris and Lilli both participate in school and community sports. The Y has helped them to learn how to balance schoolwork and commitments with physical opportunity. When children are at an age where they are beginning to make their own decisions regarding the health and wellness, the Y partners with parents by providing programs that help them practice healthy behaviors that can turn into good, lifelong habits.”

 Membership applications for Bridgewater YMCA, Hillsborough YMCA and Somerville YMCA are available at the Welcome Desk at each Y. Applications for Somerset Hills YMCA can be downloaded at


About the Somerset County YMCA
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. At Somerset County YMCA, we believe everyone, regardless of age, income or background, should have the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. For information about Somerset County YMCA and financial assistance, visit us at