Ask Jemal Broussard what he does for a living, and you might get an unexpected answer.

The YMCA Youth Sports Coordinator will tell you he works in the construction business. In fact, everyone at the Superior YMCA does.

Ask them why, and the answer becomes obvious: they build great kids, through sports.

Year-round youth sports programs keep the YMCA on North 21st Street bustling, with Broussard leading the way. It comes naturally after nearly 30 years at the nonprofit.

Of course, it’s always been about more than keeping your eye on the ball. The YMCA’s mission has consistently been about youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. And now, they’re able to put even more emphasis on shaping future generations thanks to a new initiative by the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA).

The Y-USA introduced the Character Development Learning Institute (CDLI) in July of 2016, thanks to a $20 million grant through the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. They’re nearly halfway through the four-year launch phase, and the Superior YMCA is embracing the push with a new CDLI dialogue in all of its youth sports programs.

The core values of the CDLI center on personal development, responsibility, emotion management, empathy, and relationship building in youth.

“We want to build that sense of meaning for those kids,” Broussard told us after a recent indoor soccer practice. “They get to learn how to be leaders, learn how to be responsible, learn how to be a team player . . . it’s gonna help them to be better leaders as they move on past our YMCA program.”

With the snow melting and temps on the rise, youth sports are about to move outside at the Y. The outdoor soccer program (ages 4-12) gets rolling with a Meet & Greet on May 11. Practices begin May 14 for the youngest division, and May 16 for all other teams. Games begin May 18, with the season wrapping up June 29.

This year, all practices and games are at the Superior High School soccer fields on 28th Street, across from the school.

To sign up for the 2019 outdoor soccer program, fill out the online enrollment form and pay the $30 Member/$60 Non-Member fee.

Check out all of the Superior YMCA’s youth sports programs here.

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