Message from the Chair
The YMCA has been a part of my life for forty years. When I was eight years old, I joined the YMCA basketball league in my hometown of Brown Deer, Wisconsin. It was here that I not only developed my life-long love of the game, but where I also learned important life-long lessons of teamwork, friendship, sportsmanship, and the impact of strong coaching that serve me to this day. I cherish fondly memories of my YMCA experience.
Years later, I became a member of the Princeton YMCA when my oldest son joined the popular winter basketball league. I initially sat on the sideline, watching my son and his teammates play, and then one Saturday I casually offered to help coach the team. I instantly enjoyed teaching the game, watching our young players grow in skill, and of course, in developing a love of the game that I had! I continued as volunteer basketball coach for over ten years, coaching both my sons and many other boys and girls in our community.
In 2013, I was honored to join the Board of Directors. However, when I came to the Board, I still held the perception that the YMCA was essentially a “gym and swim” facility. While sports and wellness are an essential piece of who we are, I have since learned it is only a part. With a commitment to our three areas of focus: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Princeton YMCA, with volunteers, staff, and board members working side by side, is changing lives in very real and meaningful ways. Whether it’s the youth mentoring ACE program (which focuses on reducing chronic absenteeism and improving the trajectory for middle and high school students facing the greatest number of challenges in their lives), Princeton Young Achievers (this community’s only afterschool program that supports children in grades K through 5 with the fewest resources), Latinos en Progreso or any number of other programs and initiatives, the Princeton YMCA makes a significant impact improving the lives of kids, adults, and families every single day. For me, what makes the Princeton YMCA a special and powerful organization is our ability to bring the entire community together and build connections among one another in countless ways, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity, race, or background.
I am proud and humbled to serve as the Chair of the Board of Directors for this organization. We look forward to a bright future, in which we can expand our programs of educational support and mentoring to promote equity and fairness; where we can build and enhance our athletic facility to welcome more members who can appreciate the many benefits the Y offers; where we can continue to offer a warm and welcoming place for seniors and individuals managing emotional, physical and intellectual challenges; and where we can partner with other organizations to build a diverse and inclusive Princeton community. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Y – please join us!
PJ Jayachandran, Chair
Professionally, PJ is Chief Supply Chain Counsel at Colgate-Palmolive. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from the University of Wisconsin and a JD from Syracuse University College of Law. PJ lives in Princeton, New Jersey with his wife Neena Patil, an attorney, where together they are raising their sons, Tarak, 14 and Devan, 10. PJ also served on the board of directors of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Mercer County.
Board of Directors
Prashanth ‘PJ’ Jayachandran
First Vice Chair
Second Vice Chair
Charles Craig, III
Flagship Pioneering, Inc.
Educational Testing Service
Educational Testing Service
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Radice Law Firm
Community Development Trust