Our Impact - Markel



“When I walked into my Y at nine years old, neither my mother nor I could imagine what the experience would do for me. Growing up in East Orange can be challenging and honestly it can be dangerous. My mother wanted me safe and she wanted me to excel in my studies. My YMCA would help me do that and more.

I loved my Y as a kid, but I was even more inspired to be a role model.  I became a CIT, a summer counselor, and a program director. I learned, shared and modeled the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. I meet children from my Y almost every day, and hear “Mr. Markel…Mr. Markel.” I feel like a rock star.

One day, it was the voice of a young man, taller and broader than I that moved me. I barely recognized him.  He thanked me. Despite the many obstacles he faced as a foster child, he was so proud to share his success. He asked me about my progress towards being a lawyer.  

Today, I am back in school, working towards my dream.  While I do not work at the Y, my YMCA will always be a part of my life. One day I want to be on the Board.”



The YMCA make strengthening our communities our cause. We help individuals and families everyday become stronger, more connected and secure. Help us make an impact in your community. Give to the Y.