The Y in Central Maryland Blog

Monday Mission Update

Marking only the eighth time in history that a human-made craft has landed on Mars, NASA’s InSight Craft made a successful landing on the planet Mars this week, yielding potentially significant discoveries about a planet that has provided us with endless opportunity for speculation in movies, books and elsewhere. While we begin to experience the fascinating images and scientific information from Mars, back here on planet Earth we will continue to focus on the Y’s mission of investing in the business of potential and believing in the inherent possibilities within all of us.


You’ve likely heard and read me quoting a saying which hangs over our doors at the Orokawa Y in Towson (and will soon appear in all of our centers and sites), which states:


“At the Y, we don’t ask who you are or where you came from, we ask instead who you want to be and where you want to go.”


Whether planning for the launch of a space rocket or the launch of a promising young person into a world of incredible opportunity and uncertainty, the fundamental sentiments and belief systems are the same: we are at our best as humans when we believe absolutely in the great possibilities in front of us, even when they aren’t immediately obvious.


There is an often-told tale about NASA which bears repeating here. Many years ago, researchers were going throughout the organization interviewing employees about NASA’s culture, from scientists to administrators to the custodians. They asked a man pushing a broom what he does every day. His answer? “I am helping to put a man on the moon.” Talk about mission clarity!


For us, my sense is that if someone asks one of our associates what she or he does every day at the Y, regardless of that person’s immediate job responsibilities, I would suspect that you might here one of the following (or something very similar):  “I am helping an adult live a healthier life,” or “I am helping a family bond,” or “I am helping people find purpose,” or “I am helping a community to strengthen,” or, perhaps, “I am helping unlock the deep well of potential which lies within us all.”


Unlike NASA, our work is not scientifically complex but yet cannot be so easily focused on one clear statement of purpose.  However, it can be stated in terms of the impact of all of the Y’s places, programs and hard work around central Maryland.  We are at our best when we’re helping others achieve their best, in the fullest definition of that term.


Thank you for all you do every day to support community well-being for all.


All the best,


John K. Hoey
President & CEO


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