Eugene Family YMCA Press Release


Ruiz selected as one of 45 emerging leaders from across the country for her extraordinary work in Youth Development at the Y

Eugene, Ore., Dec. 3, 2020 - The National Afterschool Association has named Eugene Family YMCA's Multi-Site Coordinator Maritza Ruiz as one of 45 national noteworthy emerging leaders in Youth Development. 
The National Afterschool Association recognizes individuals every year who are making contributions that have broad, long-term impacts on programs and organizations. Not only do these honorees possess a passion for their work, but they also are emerging as groundbreaking leaders, making a clear path for other afterschool providers to follow suit. Ruiz was among the cohort selected from a field of 125 applicants.

"Maritza shows up with optimism, hopefulness and a nurturing attitude every day," said Holly Kriz-Anderson, the Eugene YMCA's Vice President of Operations and Youth Development Director. "Her ability to mentor staff, youth, families and the Eugene community is continually inspiring."

In addition to being honored by the National Afterschool Association, Ruiz will receive ongoing professional development support from the organization.

Having worked at the Eugene YMCA since 2014, Ruiz helped the organization develop as the largest child care provider in Lane County, serving an average of 725 children a day during a typical school year. 

She is a strong advocate for the Safe Routes to School program, which helps families find alternative transportation to school. After launching this program at the Y, Ruiz has positively impacted dozens of families. 

In 2020, Ruiz was one of the first employees to join the YMCA's inaugural Diversity, Inclusion and Global Engagement committee, tasked with a vision to help the Y continue to develop more intentionality in areas such as recruitment, hiring, training and partnership development in relation to marginalized and underserved populations in the community.

"Maritza is a remarkable member of our team who strives for excellence from herself as well as the Y," said Eugene Family YMCA Chief Executive Officer Brian Steffen. "I am thrilled that this prestigious organization is recognizing Maritza's unique and impressive leadership qualities."


About the Eugene Family YMCA

The Eugene Family YMCA is one of the region's leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Each year across Lane County, the Y engages more than 18,000 people regardless of age, gender, income or background--- to nurture the potential of children, teens and seniors; improve health and well-being; and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2019, the Eugene Family YMCA awarded $464,675 in financial assistance. The YMCA has been serving the Eugene-area since 1887.

Media inquires, please contact:
Eugene Family YMCA

Beth Casper
503-302-8776 (mobile)

The Y. For a better us.
Founded in 1887, we're one of Lane County's oldest nonprofits.

December 3, 2020