This is 21-year-old Atiq’s fifth summer as a counselor for YMCA Camp High Hopes. He leads campers through lively day camp assemblies, games in the gaga pit, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and a healthy lunch. His smile doesn’t waver even after a very long day at camp packed with learning and activities. Atiq is one of the best examples of the positive, cumulative effects of the YMCA.
Atiq was a shy kid when he moved to Cary from India with his family in seventh grade. He couldn’t speak English well, so he struggled in school. That’s when he was enrolled in Y Learning - the YMCA’s standardized, academic support program.
Grant, a YMCA Youth Director, witnessed Atiq’s transformation through the Y.
“It was amazing to see Atiq come out of his shell. Thanks to Y Learning, his grades improved, he felt confident in the classroom and he started making friends.”
Atiq’s Y journey led him to become a counselor for Y Learning and eventually Camp High Hopes.
“Camp High Hopes is so much fun, campers don’t realize they’re learning during the summer,” jokes Atiq. He says it seemed natural to pay it forward since the Y helped build him as a student, role model and leader. Today, he’s a college student studying business.
“The Y made such a big impact on me," says Atiq. “It made me see how important it is to help build others up.”
$171 gives a child a fun-filled week at our subsidized day camp, Camp High Hopes, including transportation, literacy instruction led by certified teachers, meals and exciting activities.