The YMCA of Greater Brandywine hosted its first Advocacy Day on Wednesday, Aug. 24, along with the announcement of an unconventional presidential candidate: Zoe, a 1-year-old toddler.
Zoe, a hypothetical contender for 2064, represents the potential that should be nurtured in every child through the support of the Y and the local community. At Wednesday’s event, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine introduced Zoe and her platform, which is focused on the Y’s youth development through early learning readiness, summer learning loss, and after-school programs, according to a YMCA press release.
“There are many children in need of support in Chester County. That’s why we are supporting the Zoe for President campaign as we continue to focus on leveling the playing field for every Zoe,” Denise Day, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Brandywine, said in the release. “We award over $3 million in financial assistance to over 16,000 members of our community annually, much of which is focused on fostering youth development right here in our community.”
The event also featured a debate among three “vice presidential” candidates who are actively involved in programs at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.
Janiyah DeShields, who will be attending Pierce Middle School, has been enrolled at the Y for over 7 years and said the Y youth programs have helped her discover her inner talents. Onye Mazyck attends Stetson Middle School, where she is going into 8th grade; she has taken part in Camp Chestnut for five summers and has advanced from a camper to a leader-in-training. Wyatt Oatman goes to Fugett Middle School and is entering 7th grade; he started after-school programs at the Y in January, where he said the counselors have taught him the meaning of leadership, the release said.
The Zoe for President campaign highlights the potential the Y sees in all kids – like Zoe’s VP candidates. Through its youth development initiatives, kids at the Y have the opportunities to succeed, grow, and one day, maybe even become president. For more information on the local Zoe for President campaign, visit www.ymcagbw.org/zoeforpresident.