The Campo Family YMCA in Valrico is honoring Black History Month with a collage that was created by members of the YMCA and volunteers.

The Campo Family YMCA in Valrico honored Black History Month with a collage that was created by members of the YMCA and volunteers.

“Members started asking if anything was planned to recognize Black History Month,” said Campo Family YMCA executive director Mario Gallegos. “The collage is massively growing from all age groups. Families are literally using the fact wall for discussions with their children and sharing their own past experiences. Active older adults are sharing their experiences, which is bringing the fact wall to life. Children as young as 5 years old are adding to the wall.”

The inspiration for the wall came from Lashaune Hannah with a handful of members and volunteers who donated their time and supplies to the project.

“The inspiration stemmed from previous projects put together of past Black history projects at Lashaune’s place of employment in El Paso, Texas, Collins Elementary,” Gallegos said. “The idea birthed from the story of the Underground Railroad of Harriet Tubman and moved to the idea of spreading that journey by a train of African Americans that paved the way for many today. The Black history collage was created to bring ownership, collaboration, unity and understanding, as well as a conversational piece to anyone interested in sharing facts, thoughts and experiences related to Black history.”

Campo YMCA staff members also love sharing their stories with members who visit the collage.

“Staff members shared their incredible stories as well that other staff never even knew of,” Gallegos said. “Members have helped contribute some of the research as well as some of the artwork from Campo Adult Art Class instructed by Maria Fentress. Other members have actually donated artifacts and memorabilia to infuse into the display. The members express their love of the wall on a daily basis and are looking forward to adding more.”

If you would like to learn more about the programs offered at the Campo Family YMCA, you can visit its website at or call 813-684-1371. If you’d like to visit the Black History Month collage at the YMCA, it is located at 3414 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico.

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Libby Hopkins
Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.