Terry Larson and Chris Spivey

University Y Student Center

Many of the Y’s outreach programs serving youth and teens are funded by the generosity of local donors. Terry Larson is a supporter of the Y’s teens programs and has been a member of the Tacoma Center YMCA for more than 30 years. Chris Spivey is the Association Teen Director for the Y.

Q: What is the Juvenile Justice program?

Chris: The mission is to get youth disconnected from the court system and connected to positive resources in the community.

Terry: I like that. Because once you’ve got a criminal record, you’re marked for life. It’s going to be hard to get a job just about anywhere.

Q: Chris, how do supporters like Terry help make outreach programs possible?

Chris: When we bring these youth into the YMCA, they’re surrounded by positive influences like Terry. If you’re around people who can speak life into you, their words can help you create a positive vision for your future. That couldn’t be possible without your support, to be honest. Not only do donations help, but the fact that somebody who’s worked hard wants to give back, that’s immeasurable.

Terry: I think I’m a positive influence. I try to be encouraging, but I put the responsibility right on you. That barbell is not going to lift itself, but when you’re young, a lot of these things just seem insurmountable. These kids are looking for somebody, even if they don’t admit it.

Q: What is your long-term vision for the Y’s teen-focused programs?

Chris: People ask me what I do for a living and I say, I’m an investor. I’m an investor in youth. That’s our future. It’s important they have good character and integrity so they can continue to move this community – and ultimately city, nation, world – in the right direction. It’s a little program, but I think big picture.

Terry: There are a lot of good programs that the YMCA is working on and we need to find ways to support them, so not only can people like Chris keep working on those programs, but also think of new programs.

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