The Freedom Tribe

Mel Korum Family YMCA

Health is more than building muscle mass, it is also about finding your “tribe,” a place where you feel free to be yourself—however messy that may be. A group of Journey to Freedom participants created just that, and they call themselves the "Freedom Tribe.”

“There is power in bringing strangers together in acceptance. This support group that allows me to step out of my crazy life and be vulnerable,” says Jill, the Mission Coordinator at Mel Korum Family YMCA.

The Journey to Freedom small groups focus on authenticity, acceptance, and healing as participants work through struggles such as anxiety and low self-worth . After participating in, and leading, several Journey to Freedom groups, Jill, Brenda, Raquel, Clarence, Ted, and Pat did not want their experience to end, so they kept meeting.

“During my very first [Journey to Freedom] class, I didn’t even open my mouth, I didn’t want to talk, and I kept looking at the clock,” says Pat. “Now, a year later, look at all the friendships I have made.”

Each month the Freedom Tribe meets gets together to share the highs and lows of life in a place they know they will always be accepted.

“This group taught me that I could be close to people on a whole other level. We can be transparent with each other and share, there is freedom,” says Raquel.