The Gateway Region YMCA is part of the international YMCA network—a powerful alliance of Ys dedicated to strengthening our global community of 46 million members in 124 countries.

Our Association is active in the international community, working with partner Ys in other countries to promote long-term, sustainable development. Partnerships are developed based on the mutual interests of both Ys and include activities like teen trips for relief or development, youth exchange, service learning and cross-cultural education. Our current partners include Belize, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Ukraine and South Africa.


Each year, the Gateway Region Y offers area youth the opportunity to participate in an international youth exchange trip. The trips feature a community service project with one of our partner Ys abroad, and provide leadership development, cultural education, civic engagement and a deeper understanding of social issues of local and global magnitude to help prepare young people to lead in the 21st century. Funding is made possible through fundraisers and donations from the community.

For more information about how to apply for a youth exchange trip or for information on the program, please contact the branch executive at your local Y.


The Gateway Region YMCA is recognized by the YMCA of the USA as a Global Center of Excellence, a designation that highlights the association’s commitment to creating and replicating global best practices at home and abroad. In addition to our youth trips, we are proud to offer services that support newcomer/immigrant populations. Through the Y Literacy Programs, we provide English as a second language, citizenship process support and health literacy.

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Your gift to YMCA World Service creates opportunities for young people to overcome obstacles and create change that will last generations. YMCA World Service funds are overseen by the YMCA of the USA International Group and put to use locally by YMCA staff and volunteers who are trusted leaders with a deep understanding of community need and the relationships to produce impactful, sustainable solutions.