“Great job,” exclaims Melonie as she hugs a student at a local Y Learning program. “I’m so proud of you!”
Melonie sees Y Learning as the tool that brings students full circle. The former elementary school teacher saw children struggle in class.
“They couldn’t finish their homework. Reading was tough and they dreaded end-of-grade tests,” says Melonie. “I took on the part-time role as an after school Y Learning instructor because I could make an even great impact.”
Making a difference
That’s where Melonie met Robert, a shy seventh grader who was referred to Y Learning by his school counselors. In Y Learning, Robert's grades improved. He gained confidence and made friends. Melonie believed in the impact of the YMCA so much that she joined the Y as a full-time youth director overseeing Y Learning sites, summer day camps and after school programs in the community.
“I knew I could make an even bigger difference working at the YMCA than I ever could as a teacher,” says Melonie.
Today, YMCA academic support programs like Y Learning, Community HOPE and 21st Century Learning Programs allow 1,800+ students in seven counties to succeed in the classroom and thrive outside it.
As for Robert, he’s come full circle. He excelled in Y Learning and Camp High Hopes. His YMCA connections extended to Middle School United Nations and Leaders Club. Today, Robert is planning for college and works as a YMCA After School and Summer Day Camp Counselor for Melonie.
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the YMCA,” proclaims the 17-year-old.
There are growing needs in our community, but there are plenty of us. Donors, volunteers, members, neighbors and partners like you make the difference.
The YMCA Annual Campaign allows children, families and adults to lead healthy lives - regardless of their ability to pay. 100% of every dollar given through the Annual Campaign is invested in the lives of people who need the Y.