Alan Hostrup is being honored as a White House Champion of Change for his leadership and commitment to the ideals of the YMCA.
I could not be more honored to be recognized as a White House Champion of Change. As President & CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, it is my privilege to work with teams of dedicated and talented leaders to strengthen our communities by empowering our neighbors with the tools to learn, grow and thrive. Spanning a 100-mile square radius, the Los Angeles Y touches the lives of more than 250,000 members and over 100,000 youth and teen program participants each year.
As we look for opportunities to help our youth build character and incorporate the values of caring, trust, responsibility and respect, the Y’s Youth and Government (Y & G) program is an incredible vehicle to develop cause-driven leaders. Y & G allows high school students to serve in model governments at the local, state and national levels, empowering them to learn the fundamentals of civic engagement, public speaking, collaboration and social responsibility.
My experience with Youth & Government began as a member of Y & G. It gave me the opportunity to find my voice and truly understand that I could make a difference in my community. Unlike many learning initiatives, Y & G empowers students to develop the program curriculum. This made a huge difference to me and helped shape my leadership abilities. I see the same influence, year after year, on our participants.
I have dedicated more than three decades of service to Y & G, and have not missed a California YMCA Youth & Government event at the state capitol since 1970, because this unique program instills positive values while inspiring future generations to become active and concerned citizens. All three of my daughters have participated in Youth & Government, which makes it particularly meaningful that my eldest daughter, Michelle, is joining me for The Champions of Change program.
As we struggle to empower those from underserved communities, the LA Y subsidizes many students who wish to participate in Y & G. We don’t leave kids behind. This program is inclusionary and we actively engage students who may be academically struggling. Stories of young men and women turning their lives around after completing a Youth & Government program are common.
I learned to become a leader through Y & G and am proud to be the Immediate Past Chairman of the California YMCA Youth & Government Program. In addition to my work with the Y, I serve as Chairman of the Board of The Headington Institute as well as am a member of the Board of Directors on the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and The Los Angeles Coalition.
It rests with each of us to ensure we create change that provides a brighter future for our children. Through the YMCA Youth & Government program, we can also prepare our country’s next generation of thoughtful, committed and active citizens.
Alan C. Hostrup is President & CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles.