Imagining More Potential

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Across the country, minority kids are three times more likely to drown than other kids their same age.  In fact, 70% of African American kids, and almost 60% of Hispanic children cannot swim. Through the Annual Campaign and your help, we've been trying to change these statistics. 

When Niyah Grant, 10, swam in her first Camp High Hopes Swim Meet, she was accidentally put in an older age group. After the first event, she panicked and didn’t want continue with the rest of the meet. That’s when Anthony Hardison, Outreach Director at the Kerr Family YMCA stepped in to pick up her spirits.

“It told her what we tell every kid who competes in this meet. They’re all a vital part of the team. Even when you have doubts, your team needs your strongest effort and that’s really all we’re looking for.”  That’s when Niyah got back in the water and earned four first places, including the meet’s Coaches’ Award.

Getting the Full Camp Experience

Camp High Hopes is a summer camp program that is fully subsidized through the Y's Annual Campaign. It's designed to make sure that all kids, even those whose families have limited resources, get to experience YMCA Summer Day Camp. 

“It's not just about having fun, “ said Anthony. “Kids experience things like swim lessons at Camp High Hopes twice a week and learn values like sportsmanship and team work which help them develop confidence for everything else they do in their lives.” 

This year, at the annual Camp High Hopes Swim Meet, over 150 campers from six different Camp High Hopes locations came together not only to swim, but also to compete in different events.

“It’s hard not to be moved during these meets. You see dozens of kids, many of them minorities, who are not only surviving in the water, but thriving. Kids who might have been a statistic have the chance to show off a perfected backstroke or butterfly,” he added.

Everyone Gets a Prize

Every athlete did an amazing job and parents and volunteers enthusiastically cheered on every swimmer. But more importantly, these kids will carry with them a life-saving skill and a newfound confidence thanks to YMCA Camp High Hopes.

Camp High Hopes helps every kid imagine more ways to achieve their potential, be creative and exceed even more than their expectations.  But it doesn’t happen without support from the Annual Campaign.  Help us imagine more for our community during the month of October. Read how you can be a part.