; Wise Guys Program fosters healthy relationships
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Wise Guys Program fosters healthy relationships


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									                                                YMCA of Cambridge NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: September 17, 2009

    Wise Guys Program fosters healthy relationships
   Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation funding announced for boys group

Cambridge, ON – The Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation announced it would
fund the second year of the Wise Guys program—a small youth group for “boys only” at the Z beside
the Y youth centre operated by the YMCA of Cambridge. This group consists of approximately 5 – 8
male youth ages 13 -15 years. The program was designed, carried out and evaluated by Z staff and
volunteers in response to a need for a closed group for boys.
The purpose of the group is to create a small, trusting atmosphere where boys can share their
concerns with positive adult role models in order to help them make informed healthy choices. The
program provides boys with information, guidance and an opportunity to practice various skills
including communication, problem solving and cooperation increasing their ability to develop and
maintain healthy relationships with adults, peers, and romantic partners.
The program focuses on the importance of being self confident enough to make healthy lifestyle
choices thereby decreasing the likelihood that they will participate in risky behaviours such as the
usage of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and participation in sexual and criminal activity. Resources
were gathered from Planned Parenthood and Waterloo Regional Public Health in order to create a
meaningful curriculum.
Like other Z programs, the YMCA seeks to evaluate what kind of a difference we are making in the
lives of young people. Therefore, a survey was created to measure the impact of this program on these
boys. With a focus on health and healthy relationships, last year’s survey said 100% of boys reported
the program helped them to: be more physically active, eat healthier, and stay away from drugs,
alcohol, and smoking. Another purpose of the program is to help boys mature, as they become more
aware of adult issues and decisions and develop tools to make healthy decisions. Three-quarters of the
boys said the program helped them to learn how to budget money, make better decisions, learn new
skills and become a better leader. “We have seen some real maturity in these boys” said Jennifer
Colwell, Youth Centre Supervisor. For more information about Wise Guys or to enroll in the fall
program, call the Z at 519-621-3250 ext. 252.
The $1,000 grant is from the After Four Programs Initiative through the General Youth Endowment
Fund of the Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation. The foundation connects donors
who care with causes that matter and serves as a trusted resource for addressing issues and leveraging
opportunities in the community. For more information about the Foundation, go to
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For further information, please contact:
Debra Brown                                       James Howe
Director, Community Relations                     Director of Communications
YMCA of Cambridge                                 YMCAs of Cambridge & Kitchener-Waterloo
519-621-3250 ext. 250                             519-584-7479 ext. 207
dbrown@ckwymca.ca                                 jhowe@ckwymca.ca

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