Jane Coleman Awarded Lifetime Membership from YMCA of Greenville for Long-Standing Impact to South Carolina Youth in Government Program

L to R: Charlotte Capers Bledsoe, YIG participant; Cameron Obioha, YIG participant; honoree Jane Coleman; and Mary Capers Bledsoe, executive director, SC YMCA Youth in Government,

Coleman is the first female recipient of this honor

GREENVILLE, S.C. (March 13, 2018) — The YMCA of Greenville announces that Jane Coleman has been awarded a Lifetime Membership for the financial and volunteer support she and her late husband, Bob Coleman, have provided to the South Carolina Youth in Government program through the Bob and Jane Coleman Youth in Government Endowment Fund.

At the urging of the Bob Coleman, YMCA of Greenville established the statewide Youth in Government program in 1988. The goal of Youth in Government is to help create the next generation of good citizens by laying out the workings of local, state and national governmental systems so participants will understand how to affect change within these systems. Since then, it has grown to be the third largest program in the country.

In 2017, a record-breaking 2,100 middle and high school students from 60 different schools across the state participated in its Model Legislature and Court conference. With its other programs, such as Model U.N., nearly 3,000 students are served annually. Living in the Y’s philosophy that all people have potential and are welcome, the Bob and Jane Coleman Youth in Government Endowment Fund provides much needed funding so that any student who wants to participate can, regardless of ability to pay.

“Jane Coleman is the epitome of a servant leader who is truly dedicated to helping others succeed,” said Scot Baddley, president and CEO, YMCA of Greenville. “She has been known to say that there is no better investment than the YMCA to see an impact in people’s lives. Due to her leadership and generosity, more than 25,000 South Carolina youth have participated in Youth in Government – an impact that the Y would not have been able to achieve without her.”

“The lessons learned through Youth in Government are life-changing. For instance, students learn that it is important to be informed, to learn to disagree without being disagreeable, how to compromise, if necessary, and that citizenship is not passive - it is important to vote,” said Jane Coleman. “One of the biggest and most exciting things I see is the confidence these kids gain. I am in awe seeing them stand before a group of adults to make a speech without a note–amazing! The friendships these children make, and the lessons learned through their Youth in Government experiences are forever.”

The Lifetime Membership award is given to an individual who has tremendously impacted the mission, programs and the people the YMCA of Greenville serves. Jane Coleman is the first female recipient of the award.

###

About the YMCA of Greenville SC
The YMCA of Greenville is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families, and communities. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves Greenville’s health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Begun in 1876, the Y serves more than 70,000 people annually through programs that include Afterschool, Resident Camp and Day Camp, Aquatics, Youth and Adult Sports, and Health and Wellness. Programs are offered through four family branches, as well as the Verdae YMCA, Y Camp Greenville, Judson Community Center, the Adams Mill Program Center and Hollingsworth Outdoor Center. The Y is also home to Y Teen Services and the SC Youth in Government program.

For more information about the YMCA of Greenville, visit ymcagreenville.org, or call (864) 412-0288.