By: Ashtyn Austin and Ashley Hatch
Monday November 19th, 2018 YMCA’s President and CEO Sue Glass addressed Youth in Government delegates to kickstart this year’s model legislature. Glass commended delegates for their participation in this event and their willingness to be, “Motivated, mobilized, engaged, and ready to have your voices heard.” She encouraged how becoming involved in your government and community creates impact on society and she hopes that, “When you leave here today as a Youth in Government alum, our goals is that you will vote, volunteer, and become an active engaged citizen.” She provides reasoning for the impact by referencing the midterm election where, “Young people absolutely crushed it”.
Glass has been involved with the YMCA ever since she had her own, “Y story” and became passionate about the organization. For Glass, the YMCA aligns with personal values such as health education, and youth development. Before setting her sights on improving the YMCA and expanding their influence, she worked for the American Diabetes Association for 21 years. She has focused her education and career in health to help others understand the grave importance of their health and that their health can aid in building their confidence.
Glass is the first woman President and CEO of the YMCA! She is a proponent that women should hold any role they want to and that they can bring different perspectives, especially when running an organization. These perspectives can enrich not only the organization, but also the workers for that organizations. She firmly believes that if a women wants to lead, is capable, and has the capacity to be a leader they should be in leadership positions where they can bring new and needed perspectives. Glass is in unique position to help influence the ideals of young girls through being an example and having the responsibility that she does. She is also emphasizing how the YMCA should be helping girls as they grow up understand that they can be who they want to be. She wants girls to know that they have enough power to be the next president of the United States, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or anything they want to be, and Glass wants to do this by fostering programs at the YMCA to help girls grow into the leaders they can be.
As for advice for young girls, Glass puts it simply saying, “believe in who you are.” Glass goes farther to tell girls that they, “are a gift and you have a lot of talents.” She urges girls to not only identify talents, but find mentors to help you through the process of growing. Glass explains that she never thought she would be a CEO, all she wanted was a career that helped people. It was only when she entered the workforce that she identified her talents and passion for leading.
Glass leaves on a note relevant to every future leader. “Leadership does not mean a title. It is how you set to influence people and how you get people to understand that they have the power to change.”