The Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation has given the McGaw YMCA a gift of $1 million to construct and support the start-up of the MetaMedia Youth Center.  

MetaMedia Youth Center is a partnership among the McGaw YMCA, Youth Organizations Umbrella (Y.O.U.) and Northwestern University. The design and programming of this new initiative is an innovative, youth-driven approach to providing out-of-school learning and personal development opportunities for under-served middle school youth in Evanston.  MetaMedia will provide access to advanced technology, music and video production, creative design, and additional tools and networks. Northwestern’s FUSE program which connects youth to real-world STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts/Design, and Math) tools and practices will be one of the programs incorporated into the MetaMedia offerings.

Construction will begin in October, with an expected opening in January 2015. 

“We are excited for the opportunity to create a space at the McGaw YMCA where future leaders will attain the support, skills and experiences needed to transform their lives and their community. We are grateful to the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation for conceiving of this project, and for their investment in our youth,” said Mark A. Dennis Jr., president/CEO of the McGaw Y.

“We truly believe this space will deeply engage and excite the minds of our youth, and enable us both to engage new youth and to increase our impact among those we already serve,” said Seth Green, executive director of Y.O.U.

The Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation is tied to three families who are long-time McGaw members and have long called Evanston their home:  Chuck Lewis and Penny Sebring, Peter and Rachel Lewis, and Casey Lewis Varela and George Varela. Casey Lewis is a member of the McGaw YMCA Board of Directors, and Penny Sebring is a former board member.