Bloomfield, Conn., and Memphis, Tenn., Nov. 13, 2023 –The Cigna Group Foundation announced the kickoff of programming funded as part of a multi-year $150,000 partnership with the Georgette and Cato Johnson YMCA to help local teenagers improve their health and well-being, which according to research, underpin vitality.
The programming initiative at the Johnson YMCA will serve as the launch for the entire YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South organization’s multi-year plan to scale across communities and expand resources to provide teens with access to wellness equipment, programming, leadership opportunities, and developmental opportunities.
As part of this initiative, the YMCA has begun hosting Teen Nights at the Johnson YMCA, with plans to introduce the program at YMCA locations.
With a strong focus on promoting positive youth development, the YMCA ‘s Teen Night program offers a variety of engaging opportunities for youth while addressing the need for a greater range of activities in the community.
“We believe that extracurricular programs and activities play a critical role in supporting the needs of our youth. That is why our Teen Night program also serves as a platform for community partners such as local schools, churches, and other community organizations to actively engage with our youth. By coming together, we can create a network of support and opportunity that empowers our youth to thrive,” said Tymikia Glenn, center director at the Georgette and Cato Johnson YMCA.
“Social connections are essential for physical and mental health at all ages, and the YMCA has long been a place for children and families to connect amongst themselves and with each other, said John Webb, President of Tri-South, Cigna Healthcare. “Our partnership with the Georgette and Cato Johnson YMCA aims to reach young people at a pivotal stage in their lives and empower them to strengthen their health and vitality, for themselves and for the community.”
The Cigna Group's proprietary research finds those with high vitality are at least six times more likely to say they feel a sense of belonging in their community. Generation Z adults (ages 18-24) are struggling more than any other age group surveyed. One in four reported low vitality levels, which is in stark contrast to the 10% of people aged 65-75 years and the 16% of people aged 25-64 years reporting low vitality.
“We are thrilled to have the support of The Cigna Group to enable us to reach teens in our area and provide healthy outlets for them to explore post-secondary opportunities, develop life skills, and make connections that will allow them to succeed in school and throughout their life,” said Jerry Martin, CEO of the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South.
This partnership is part of a $1 million grant by The Cigna Group Foundation to the Y-USA to help improve the vitality of local communities. The grant will also support programming in Houston, Nashville, Phoenix, and St. Louis.
To find information on upcoming Teen Night events , visit: ymcamemphis.org/teennight.
About The Cigna Group Foundation
The Cigna Group Foundation, established in 1962, is a private foundation funded by contributions from Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) and its subsidiaries. Cigna Foundation supports organizations sharing its commitment to enhancing the health of individuals and families, and the well-being of their communities, with a special focus on those communities where Cigna employees live and work.
About the YMCA
Driven by its founding mission, the Y has served as a leading nonprofit committed to strengthening community for more than 175 years. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they’re from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships, and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y’s goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across 10,000 communities nationwide. Learn more at ymca.org.