University YMCA
University YMCAthe Y | service, reflection and action since 1873
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Global Engagement

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The University Y is an interconnected global network with the resources and innovative solutions to help people reach their potential and make our communities stronger.

Sierra Leone YMCA Partnership-An international partnership program between the University YMCA and the Sierra Lone YMCA that seeks to:

  • Foster the growth of the next generation of cause-driven leaders through learning opportunities both abroad and at Illinois.
  • Demonstrate the impact of a partnership-based strategy in addressing grand challenges in sustainable community development and to communicate best practices to peer institutions using a social justice lens.

Immigrant Friendly Communities - For over 5 years, the University YMCA has been organizing around issues affecting local immigrants:

  • The development and coordination of a Spanish/English bilingual, social services program called the La Línea Community Helpline. Specializing in over-the-phone community resourcing and in-person advocacy counseling, La Línea works to bridge the gap in social services in Champaign County. Call us at 217-417-5897 anytime day or night and leave a message with us about any help you need. We'll get back to you within one business day.
  • The creation of the C-U Immigration Forum, which has led a number of local campaigns addressing specific issues that affect undocumented residents.
  • In coordination with the CU-Immigration Forum, the University YMCA is working with community members to develop a proactive campaign that celebrates what immigrants contribute to our community by encouraging local institutions to adopt policies that make Champaign County an Immigrant Friendly Community. We have begun by reaching out to the immigrant community to seek their input and feedback to help guide efforts that best meet their needs.

Intercultural Horizons – This project recruits a cohort of domestic and international students who participate in a semester -long curriculum designed to encourage a richer and more meaningful interaction and dialogue:

  • The cohort would participate in local service projects with the goal of an international service trip.
  • Students participating in the project would be encouraged to become advocates on campus seeking to instigate new efforts in their dorms, departments, etc.

International Service Learning Initiative - With a growing number of students pursuing international service learning experiences as part of their education, this project aims to give students the tools to develop into culturally competent leaders in global service. In service of this vision, the University YMCA hosts the annual Leaders For Global Change conference each spring semester, which is free and open to all students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Also, consider participating in the following Y programs that have an international or cultural focus:



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