Following the death of their mother, Lucian, Jeremy, and Isaiah moved in with members of their extended family. The family did their best to provide the three boys, but they struggled to get by financially. The cost of after school care, additional meals, and transportation of the three boys weighed heavily on the family. Members of the family took on additional hours of work, but still could not provide the appropriate after school care for the boys, and they began to fall behind socially and academically.

Recognizing their need, Great Schools Partnership referred Lucian, Jeremy, and Isaiah to the YMCA’s School Age Child Care program. YMCA’s School Age Child Care program supports the educational curriculum of Knox County Schools, developing life skills, and encouraging the healthy development of each child.  Additionally, the program provides support for the entire family with classes in parenting, life skills, family support groups and connection to other services.

Before enrolling in the School Age Child Care program, Lucian, Jeremy, and Isaiah had limited social opportunities.  After enrolling, the boys were able to socialize with other children their age, make friends, and receive help with homework and class assignments. At the YMCA, the boys received a nutritious meal, and participated in art, drama, academic tutoring, gardening, nutrition and physical fitness classes without causing additional financial strain on the family. The Y was also able to refer them to a grief counselor to work through the passing of their mother. Had it not been for the YMCA and the support of the United Way of Greater Knoxville, the boys would not have had access to the wonderful opportunities that the School Age Child Care program provided. In the face of an unexpected and tragic loss, the children were able to learn and grow in a safe and caring atmosphere while the entire family worked through their grief and continued on the path of self-sufficiency.

United Way of Greater Knoxville is proud to support programs like the YMCA’s School Age Child Care program that make a difference for families in our community. At United Way, we fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community. Change doesn’t happen alone. To live better, we must LIVE UNITED.

In order to maintain their anonymity, names in this Story of Impact have been changed.

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