Since the YMCA opened a branch on Ellis Island in 1910, the organization has worked to help new arrivals succeed
in New York. Today, the YMCA operates seven New Americans Welcome Centers around the city, each serving the particular needs of their local communities.
“These are not cookie cutter programs,” says Joanne Springstead, Program Director of the Staten Island New Americans Welcome Center. “The immigrant communities of each borough are different. Here in Staten Island, access to services is a challenge.”
The YMCA provides a range of services to immigrant New Yorkers, including English, citizenship preparation, and computer literacy. When state funding for these programs ended earlier this year, CWE stepped in to keep the classes in session.