Young Women's Christian Assn. of El Paso Texas YWCA

aka YWCA El Paso del Norte Region   |   El Paso, TX   |


The YWCA El Paso del Norte Region is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Sandra E. Braham

Main address

201 E. Main Street Suite 400

El Paso, TX 79901 USA

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NTEE code info


Temporary Shelter For the Homeless (L41)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

YWCAEPDNR provides childcare for single heads of households, after-school care for ages 5-12, credit counseling for families in financial crisis, recreational services, job training, divorce education for families, and adult leadership development ($259,000). YWCAEPDNR also works with over 1,600 teens during the school year to assist them with achieving their educational goals and to prevent health problems that impact both teen mothers and their children ($656,000). One of YWCAEPDNRs recent accomplishments was completing two years of successfully housing and rehabilitating homeless women.

Population(s) Served

The YWCA early learning centers provide high quality child care to children ages newborn to 12 years old. The YWCA has 13 sites located in all parts of town. locations include our five branches, three located in housing authority complexes, two located at the EPCC Transmountain and Valle Verde campuses, a large stand alone center on the west side, a program for teen parents in partnership with EPISD and the newest University Heights Early Learning Center managed in partnership with UTEP. Each YWCA site provides high quality early childhood learning, utilizing the national, research-based Creative Curriculum designed by Teaching Strategies. Each child receives two nutritious meals and a snack. Military families receive a 5% discount and the Kastrin and Mabee locations participate in the Army Child Care in Your Neighborhood program, which provides added support for military families.

The Judy and Kirk Robison Mi Casa Early Learning Program – The only licensed child care program in the region, providing care for homeless children who are residents of emergency shelters and transitional housing programs within the City of El Paso.

Population(s) Served

The After School Program operates at 52 elementary schools Monday –Friday from the time children are released until 6:00pm. The program serves children from 5 to 12 years of age. Children engage in activities from arts and crafts, science, imagination building, games, and participate in community service projects. Children also learn healthy habits and participate in active games in an outdoor area. They are also provided with a healthy snack. Several locations are nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.

Population(s) Served

Immediately following the last day of school and continuing until the day before school begins in the fall, the YWCA hosts a day camp Monday – Friday at the Mary Ann Dodson Camp, located in El Paso’s Upper Valley on Boy Scout Lane. The eight-acre camp features a brand new pool and cabana, softball and soccer fields, an air-conditioned lodge for arts and crafts and featuring a full commercial kitchen where home-cooked meals are prepared for breakfast and lunch, children benefit from a host of other activities. The camp serves children ages 6-12 years and children are bused to and from the camp, from throughout the city.

YWCA also provides Summer Camp at 5 convenient locations. The Branch camp experience serves children ages 5-12 and features indoor crafts and activities, educational field trips, healthy snacks, lunch and much more.

Population(s) Served

The YWCA Sara McKnight Transitional Living Center is dedicated to helping homeless women with and without children by providing safe and secure housing with supportive services. The program exists to assure permanent housing is achieved through self-sufficiency. Participants in the program must meet the federal definition of homelessness (call for more details). Typically, those entering the program have no income or not more than 29% of Area Median Income. There is always a waiting list. Those accepted into the program must commit to educational and career goals. Mandatory meetings with case managers, job and education developer, and parenting instructors are part of the program. Resources exist for children as well. YWZones youth fitness program, tutoring, and a child advocate case manager are on site. There are Scouting programs and activities that build character and civic responsibility, as well. The YWCA TLC is not an emergency shelter. While the TLC can allow a participant staying up to two years, most “graduate” to permanent housing much sooner. It is rare for a participant to stay over 18 months.

Pro Literacy – In partnership with Dollar General Stores and the international Pro-Literacy project, the YWCA has been granted resources and funding to support a pilot program for resident at the TLC and other community shelters including the Center Against Family Violence (CAFV), for the purpose of increasing literacy and assisting those needing support in obtaining the GED or high school equivalency.

Population(s) Served

The YWCA is the largest non-profit fitness program in the region and promotes healthier living in the Paso Del Norte Region through its five branch-based fitness and aquatics centers. Key components include a dynamic menu of land and water group fitness classes, certified personal trainers and instructors, fitness consultations, and weight room and cardio orientations. Please refer to branch schedules available at for specific course schedules.

Silver Sneakers Program (Healthways)
Medicare Supplemental Insurance Providers (Bravo Health, Physicians Health Choice, Humana, Texas Community Care, and AARP) offer free standard full access to eligible members at all YWCA Fitness and Aquatics Centers in El Paso, TX. Guest relations representatives can verify eligibility through a Healthways online portal. Fee based classes or courses are not included.

Healthways Prime Fitness Program
Much like the Silver Sneakers Program, insurance providers such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas offer their clients fitness and aquatics access at participating locations including all 5 YWCA fitness and Aquatics centers in El Paso. Eligibility is verified through an online portal, managed by Healthways. Fee based classes are excluded.

YWZones: A fun, kid-friendly fitness program for children 4-12 years of age. Classes include: YWZones group exercise classes, where engage kids in a series of fun and challenging activities to get them moving (i.e., dance, relay races, obstacle courses, and more) and are led by energetic instructors who utilize upbeat and motivating music.

HEART: Mi Corazon Mi Comunidad
In partnership with the UTEP College of Health Sciences and UT School of Public Health, the YWCA provides fitness, educational and nutrition classes with the assistance of promotoras who work out of the Dorothy Woodley Hunt Branch. The 5-year project is funded by the National Institutes of Health and is a demonstration project, designed to increase heart health for middle age Latinos and their families.

Population(s) Served

Through the Community Youth Development (CYD) Grant serving Northeast El Paso, youth receive in-school and afterschool programming at five Northeast El Paso middle and high school campuses. Workshops address self awareness, appreciation of differences, and responsibility for self and community and target youths 11-18 years of age.

A unique partnership with the El Paso Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation offers an annual FBI Summer Youth Academy to 30 youth who are nominated by community members. For one week high school juniors and seniors from throughout El Paso learn about the skills and training that are required to pursue a future career with the FBI.

Support from State Farm offers El Paso youth the opportunity to make a difference in their community by engaging in service learning projects designed to serve families in need. A YWCA partnership with the United Way of El Paso allows staff to offer students mentoring sessions with a service learning focus intended to engage youth in building their community.

Media Smart Youth Project – A $15,000 grant received in fall 2012, to implement a new Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Media-Smart Youth Program. The grant helps middle school youth become aware of--and think critically about--how media can affect their nutrition and physical activity choices; helps young people build the skills to make good decisions about being physically active and eating nutritiously in daily life; and, encourages young people to establish healthy habits that will last into adulthood.

Population(s) Served

Independence House supports women who are homeless due to family violence. The facility consists of eight apartments and commercial office space. Residents of Independence House may live in the apartments for up to 24 months, and are charged program fees not exceeding 30% of their monthly income. The program offers individual case management and advocacy to help residents regain stability in their lives and move to self sufficiency and permanent housing.

Population(s) Served

The YWCA Senior Housing complex offers 12 apartments in Ysleta, adjacent to the YWCA Dorothy Woodley Hunt Branch. Low income seniors benefit from affordable apartments at below market rates and live in a community of peers with membership and direct access to the resources of the neighboring YWCA Hunt branch.

Population(s) Served

Children Cope with Divorce is a four-hour, interactive experience that focuses on effective parenting during a time of transition and how to lessen the negative impact of divorce and parental separation on children. In addition to divorcing parents, anyone who is interested in improving their parenting skills may also take the class. Referrals to COPE are made by the El Paso County Court Judges, and most judges require that parents take the class before granting a divorce.

Population(s) Served

This Division and related programs and services support adults who want to learn to manage their money successfully, get out of debt, and improve their credit rating. This is achieved through individual counseling and education programs which are offered in English or Spanish, and available in person or by phone. Financial education programs are offered in a classroom setting or online.
- Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) debt management program helps people retire debt quickly and with the least amount of damage to their credit.
- Housing counseling program helps people qualify for a mortgage and resolve mortgage default and rent delinquency problems.
- First Time Homebuyer Education CCCS New Mexico
Financial Coaching Pilot – managed in partnership with National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and Bank of America, to help Hispanic families who are unbanked in opening accounts and building credit.
Some counseling services are free; some counseling services carry a nominal fee.

Population(s) Served

The Racial Justice program fosters justice, appreciation for diversity, and the elimination of racism via workshops and community dialogue based on our core values of Respect, Understanding, Acceptance and Appreciation. Community based training is offered by 47 volunteer facilitators. More than 250 modules have been developed to address race and diversity issues across all age groups.

Population(s) Served

the YWCA manages the CCS contract, as established by the Upper Rio Grande Workforce Development Board through the Texas Workforce Commission. This Federal “pass-through” supports the provision child care assistance for low-income working families. The annual contract provides subsidies for some 6,500 children daily, enabling families to work.

Population(s) Served

Every day, volunteers across the YWCA work to help those in need, gain work experience and professional skills, and support our Agency’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. Just over 600 volunteers contributed more than 32,000 hours of service to the YWCA in 2011. Volunteers work in all YWCA program areas, including child development and after-school programs, health and wellness initiatives, racial/social justice and financial education programs, housing and shelter programs, and in office and administrative support services. Our volunteer corps is comprised of community members, professional volunteers, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, Board committees, student interns, and foster grandparents. YWCA volunteers come from all walks of life and the Volunteers Services office works to match a volunteer’s interests, availability, and time commitment to Agency needs. Prospective volunteers must be at least 14 years old; those ages 14-17 must have parental/guardian consent to volunteer. Volunteers for Child Development and After-School programs must be at least 16 years of age. Volunteers must complete all Volunteer Application paperwork, consent to a background check, and be cleared through the Volunteer Services office prior to working as a volunteer.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Affiliations & memberships

United Way Member Agency 2013

National Council of La Raza (NCLR) - Affiliate 2013

National Foundation for Credit Counseling 2013

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goal 1: Empowering women and eliminating racism by ensuring the quality and increasing the use of YWCA programs.
Goal 2: Enhancing operations of the YWCA during a period of economic recovery.
Goal 3: Be an organization with a sound technological infrastructure so that the YWCA El Paso del Norte Region can succeed, providing excellent customer service and by making informed, programmatic decisions that are supported by factual data.
Goal 4: Assessing community needs relative to the YWCA mission and assuring resources to achieve our mission in the future.

The Strategic Plan emerged during 2010-11 as a result of self-study, information collection, and reflection by the YWCA Board and senior staff. One of the most gratifying results for all of us was the feedback that we received during that process from our community
volunteers, supporters, major donors and board members. Respondents gave us praise, constructive criticism, helpful advice, and serious recommendations. We are truly grateful for the wide variety of committed people in El Paso who support our mission.

The Board and staff invested considerable time and energy in updating the YWCA Strategic Plan, and worked with many donors and volunteers who are supporting our Capital Campaign. Working together, our commitment is to raise at least $12 million to upgrade our facilities, strengthen our programs, and increase the use of YWCA services. As demonstrated in the “Analysis of current and future needs of El Paso families,” the YWCA must do even more to assist El Paso residents who strive to lead healthy, productive lives.

The YWCA El Paso del Norte Region, as the largest, most comprehensive YWCA in the United States, has developed a great capacity through more than a century of service, to adjust programs and services as needs of the region and community have changed. The greatest challenges are the result of again infrastructure and outdated technology.

The Board of Directors is diverse, representing key sectors of the business and donor community, and each member brings the expertise needed to support the work of the chief executive officer and to promote the success of the Agency in attaining its strategic goals. Being situated along the US-Mexico border provide unique capabilities to partner with Foundations and other governmental bodies which have a mission and need to work within the context of a majority Hispanic population.

The organization's CEO brings added capabilities and talents which support the training, visioning and leadership wherewithal to navigate the unpredictable landscape of non-profit management.

Celebrated 100 years of service, in partnership with the El Paso Museum of History, the El Paso
Times, the El Paso, Inc., and the UTEP Oral History Program
• Invested significantly in the YWCA’s infrastructure, resulting in greater efficiency and savings: four
major software conversions, creation of Central Warehouse & Purchasing department and Public
Outreach & Development office
• Obtained grants to upgrade facilities: installation of new playgrounds and computer labs in all child
development centers – addition of new fitness equipment and technology programs for youth at all
YWCA branches
• Reorganized the operations of the Transitional Living Center and continued to improve its facilities and
• Completed 12 apartments adjacent to the Dorothy Woodley Hunt Branch for low-income seniors
• Successfully weathered the 2006 flood and 2011 freeze, both of which significantly impacted operations
• Continued to increase revenues and to reduce the organization’s deficit in the areas of Child
Development and Health & Wellness divisions
• Preparing to announce in January/February 2012 three of the first nationally accredited Army
After-School Programs in the United States that are community-based, to serve military families
• Completed a feasibility study and launched the Be-Y Miracles Happen Capital Campaign with the
support of major business and community leaders
* Instituted a "secret shopper" initiative in summer 2013 as the basis for a major focus on customer service and employee training and orientation during the 2013-14 fiscal year.


Young Women's Christian Assn. of El Paso Texas YWCA

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Young Women's Christian Assn. of El Paso Texas YWCA

Board of directors
as of 09/04/2015
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Giselle Smith-Johnson

No Affiliation

Giselle Smith-Johnson

Wells Fargo Bank

Debbie Hand

No Affiliation

Claudia Raynal

Capital Bank

Liz Fowlkes

WestStar Bank

Carmen Byers

University of Texas at El Paso

Ann Horak

University of Texas at El Paso

Sharon Robinet

No Affiliation

Secret Wherrett

El Paso Inc.

Cynthia Horton

No Affiliation

Rosemary Morales Marin

Scott & Hulse P.C.

Teresa Tapia

No Affiliation

Leslie Ann Allen

Western Refining

Sadhana Chheda


Jessica Christianson

El Paso Electric

Lucia Dura

University of Texas at El Paso

Valeria Fernandez

El Paso County

Lori Gaman

No Affiliation

Dana Guerra

Mithoff Burton Partners

Karen Loper

No Affiliation

Paulina Lopez

Senator Jose Rodriguez, District 29

Martina Lorey

Martina Lorey Architects

Elizabeth Margo

No Affiliation

Yari Marte Natal

El Paso Chihuahuas

Marina Monsisvais

Barracuda Public Relations

Ryan Prieto

Casa de Yoga

Terri Rangel

No Affiliation

Mica Short

Texas Gas Services

Mary E. Stevens

El Paso Electric

Stephanie Talley

Sierra Providence

Susanna Visconti

Kemp Smith

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes