Founder of You Against You
Lending A Helping Hand
By Kyle Dowling | Photo BY Erika Hodges
For 10 years now, Charese Horn has been working for the Michigan Department of Treasury, doing everything from tax processing for business taxes to working in the scheduling department. Horn’s latest position is in the Office of Privacy and Security, where she helps various departments get access to the paperwork, applications and databases they need.
But that is just her day job.
Horn began a program she calls YAY, or “You Against You.” The program began in February 2016 with a mission to provide women with guidance and support on their journey toward self-love and acceptance, positive thinking, emotional stability, healthy relationships and physical and spiritual wellness. Once or twice a month, women get together to discuss areas they need help with, whether it’s about relationships, work or family.
“I feel like I relate really well to people who are hurting,” explained Horn. “So, I wanted to find a way to help people and that’s what pushed me to start YAY.”
As of right now, YAY normally meets at Horn’s home in Lansing and sometimes travels outside when the weather is nice.
“YAY is free for any woman who needs someone to talk to,” says Horn.
The program also creates events and girls’ nights out in order to foster an atmosphere of respect and fun. Members of YAY mostly hear about the program through word of mouth or through Facebook. Horn said she isn’t actively advertising for this program.
“There are about 160 people in the YAY group. We post inspirational images and try to help support each other,” added Horn.
Her YAY program was so successful that Horn decided to start a sister program called YAY Fit. She leads all YAY Fit classes, each boot camp style. Unlike the other YAY activities, men are allowed to attend YAY fit.
“I started it just to get people active,” explains Horn.
YAY Fit meets six days a week in various locations such as Delta Elementary for hill workouts or Waverly High School for working out on the bleachers. All meets are shaped for all fitness levels and focus on speed and agility workouts.
“There are about 100 people in my YAY Fit group,” says Horn. “We usually get around 40-50 people depending on the day or what we are doing.”
Each YAY Fit session is $3 for a drop-in or $25 for 10 sessions.
“Three years ago, I decided to get fit,” said Horn. “This led me to want to help others build their confidence through fitness.”
“I’ve been through a lot,” said Horn. “Being able to influence people in a positive way means a lot to me. I’m not worried about affecting people on a large scale, but if I can help one or two people, then I’m happy.”
For more information on YAY and YAY Fit, search You Against You or YAY Fit on Facebook.