Katy, TX (July 12, 2013) – The YMCA to most people means a great place to work out and swim. It’s Ganesh Venkataramanan’s task to remind people that the “C” stands for Christian. He heads up the Christian emphasis committee for the Katy YMCA. “One of the things we wanted to do is see how we can give back in a measurable way to the Katy YMCA membership and the Katy community beyond providing a gym and swimming pool.”
Under Venkataramanan’s leadership the Katy YMCA offers a regular programs in different subjects and areas designed to help others.
About two years ago the first class offered was the Dave Ramsey class on handling personal finances. Now there is also a Dave Ramsey class for teens. “If we can teach our teens to take care of their finances when they are young, it’s better than having to fix problems later in life.”
“At the beginning of this week long class, I don’t think there’s a single teen that wants to be there, but by the end of the week they are asking how they go about getting their own check book.”
Marriage Matters, a couples class, is about strengthening marriages. A mother-daughter class is available to help moms and daughters strengthen their relationship.
“Women are more and more part of the labor force. In the next few years more than half the people who are working will be women. We plan to offer a class for Women in Leadership.”
There is technology for parents. “My daughter started using YouTube when she was three years old.”
Probably the most popular class is the defensive driving class, a Christian Defensive Driving Class that’s offered every two months.
“We are always looking for new classes that can help people. Presently we are looking at a class called, Preparing for College for juniors and seniors in high school. We are looking at a Dave Ramsey course in Spanish that will probably meet at one of the Katy schools in the evenings or weekends.”
Typical programs last a month, maybe two months. “There are probably about 7-8 classes available to enroll in.” Classes are usually offered on the weekends, Saturday or Sunday evenings. “We don’t normally offer classes at night during the week as the building tends to be very full and finding space is difficult.” Classes usually start out with about 20-25 people.
Membership in the YMCA is not required; classes are free, but there may be a cost for the materials. Child care is available while parents take the class.
Venkataramanan is by profession a chemical engineer. He is married and has two young children, one son and a daughter. His life is already busy. Why is he involved in the Katy YMCA?
“I think we all at some point feel a need to say, it’s not all just about me. There is something beyond. It starts with the families and extends into the community. What can I do for some one? I would rather help someone one time that helps them once and for all, than do the same thing over and over again.”