The East Boston YMCA announced this week that Carlos Fuentes has been promoted to Youth and Family Program Director. Fuentes was the Teen Program Director at the East Boston YMCA where he oversaw relationships with the surrounding middle and high schools and manages the academic credit recovery programs, as well as teen nights.
His portfolio will now include overseeing Teen Programs, Youth Sports, Child Watch, Family Engagement and oversight of the Ashley Street Teaching Kitchen.
“We are excited to see what Carlos does in his new role,” said East Boston YMCA Executive Director Joe Gaeta. “He has grown here at the East Boston ‘Y’ and we have seen him evolve into a community leader. The ‘Y’ will now be able to focus more energy on engaging more youth and families through fun, educational and healthy activities.”
Gaeta said Fuentes has grown the Y’s teen programs, sports programs and more recently the Y’s family engagement programs.
“Through strong community building and partnerships Carlos is seen in our community and our Y as a bridge builder for inclusivity and teamwork,” said Gaeta. “In his new role he will be able to create new and exciting opportunities for our youth and families in East Boston.”
Fuentes holds a BS in Social Work from Wheelock College and is an eight-year YMCA professional whose portfolio has greatly expanded as his career has evolved over time.
Raised in Chelsea, residents, classmates, and childhood friends remember Fuentes as the personable and multi-talented member of the Jordan Boys and Girls Club (JBGC), the hard-working and helpful student at Chelsea High School (Class of 2009), or the diligent staff member at the Chelsea Collaborative where he worked with administrators Gladys Vega and Roseann Bongiovanni before joining the East Boston YMCA team.
Fuentes is part of the LGBT community, and he is often sought out for advice by people who consider him an inspiration and a source of support.
This past summer Fuentes was the keynote speaker at the annual Massport LGBTQ flag-raising ceremony at Piers Park.
“I felt very alone in my community,” said Fuentes at the time. “Yes, there were many Latinos in my community and in my school but I felt like I didn’t belong because being gay was not common in my community. Today, our LGBT community is growing especially at the ‘Y’. At the ‘Y’ we have made a commitment of inclusion. We work to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, gender, cultural background, income, race or sexual orientation has the same opportunity to reach his or her full potential with dignity. “For All” is a simple but powerful phrase. However without it the Y’s mission is incomplete. Our commitment to inclusion creates better communities, a better country and a better world.”
James Morton, YMCA of Greater Boston president and CEO, recently lauded Fuentes who is part of a caring, dedicated staff that has made the ‘Y’ a true community resource in Eastie.
“Carlos’ story is truly an inspiration to all,” said Morton. “When people join the Y, they are seeking to improve themselves, but in actuality they are also part of creating a better community. The Y helps teens with job training, academic support, and college prep help.”