“My name is Cindy, and I’m one of many, many grandparents that are raising their grandchildren. I’ve had Nehemiah since before he was 1, and now he’s 10. We found out about the Y during parent teacher night at Pleasant Ridge – they had a table set up. I learned about all their wonderful programs and activities and though, ‘Well, this is a great opportunity.’ They had the whole package – they had the after-school programs, the summer programs… Everything was right there at my fingertips.

When Nehemiah started going to the Y he was very shy. He didn’t know how to approach people or make friends, and I wanted him to have that. I knew the Y program was going to be a good step for him. And as we got more involved, with the programs, the tutoring, he’s gotten so much more outgoing. The other day I walked in to pick him up, and he was singing karaoke in front of people! I though, ‘Oh my gosh, how far he has come!’ It’s just amazing. You know, a lot of the children that come here are without one or both parents, or they’re being raised by their grandparents… and they need this mentorship. They need these counselors and role models; they need people to be able to laugh and play and run around with them. And those relationships more than anything are a huge part of why the Y is so amazing. We all need that whether we’re old, young, or middle aged. That’s what the Y program has done for us. So, you know, all in all, go Y!”

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