Kirk Smith and Kristine Allard of the YMCA

When running a nonprofit, passion is your primary resource.  And Kirk and Kristine from the YMCA of Greater Springfield have plenty of passion.  Kirk Smith (President and CEO) and Kristine Allard (Chief Operating Officer) dropped by The Engine: Sunday Edition to discuss their Y-AIM program, which is having a HUGE impact on the city's dropout rate.  Currently, kids in the program are experiencing a 92% graduation rate; far higher than the 57% rate for the city overall.  They’re not alone in the initiative.  Big Y, MassMutual, First Niagara, the United Way, and others are offering a tremendous amount of support.   As a dropout myself (don’t worry folks, I earned my GED and graduated college later in life, ha) I understand the emotional and financial toll it takes. In order to encourage economic growth and entrepreneurship, we need an educated population.  It’s initiatives like this that transform our community, and I urge you to support Y-AIM in any way you can. We also chat about nonprofit governance and the power of harnessing the good will of the community.  Tune in to hear what’s happening in Western Massachusetts, and the possibilities these efforts offer.