In 2012 alone, 3,900 kids, teens, adults and families were given the Akron Area YMCA experience due to Partners With Youth Scholarships.
Talents Come to Life
A sophomore at the East Community Learning Center started coming to Teen Recreation Nights at
the East Akron YMCA, his extraordinary athletic, and leadership abilities were recognized immediately.
These talents were being wasted because he was ineligible to play for his school team and he was
not managing his time effectively.
He said, "I knew the staff and volunteers at the Y really cared about me on my first visit. They motivated
me to do better in school and to be a better person. They took the time to help me with my homework
and encouraged me to use my leadership skills in positive ways. I have gained many new friends and
love spending time at the Y, especially shooting hoops!
He has such an appreciation for the positive role models and opportunities at the Y. The Y's Teen
Center started off as a place where he could just shoot hoops and work on his jump shot. Now, he is
in the Teen Leaders Club and enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community. He continues to
improve his grades and most importantly has gained friends who are positive influences in his life.
The Y is a fun and safe place that he calls "his home away from home."
He suffered a massive stroke during a medical procedure on November 23, 2011. The prognosis
was bleak. Neurologists at the Cleveland Clinic didn't think he would survive. They said if he did,
most likely he'd be quadriplegic, blind, unable to understand what others were saying or to talk,
and would be dependent on a feeding tube and ventilator for life. Knowing he wouldn't want to
live that way, the family pulled life support on December 5, 2011. Three hours later he squeezed
his Dad's hand.
"Our lives changed. The future was so uncertain, but we gave it to God and put one foot in front of
the other," said his wife.
Today, he and his wife are doing well. They were introduced to the YMCA through Summa Health
System's one Month after therapy and now they exercise together at the Y three times a week.
"We've both improved our strength and my clothes are getting looser which makes me feel good!
He and I enjoy exercising together. It helps us stay connected. We look forward to seeing our
friends at the Y. He keeps them in stitches! It's so nice to get out of the house and do something
that's both physically and emotionally good for us!"
"Our YMCA membership is invaluable!" His wife continued, "We still put one foot in front of the
other but now we're optimistic about our future. Thanks to God and the Y our possibilities are
Love and Support at the Y
In search of a sanctuary from the busy, stressful world, she found the YMCA around 20 years ago.
"Then, the Y was a great place for me to connect with caring people and enjoy exercise. Little did
I know how much more the Y would come to mean". she said. "When my husband passed away
and I was diagnosed with cancer, the Y transformed to meet my needs. They gave me a scholarship
to ease my financial burden, the staff reminds me of my medical appointments, and the emotional
and spiritual support I receive from the Y staff and members is a true blessing!"
In the coming months, she will undergo her fifteenth surgery. The cancer is in remission! Doctors
say her perseverance and positive attitude are a credit to the physical activity and support she gets
at the Y. in her words, "Feeling loved and welcome at the Y makes all the difference! I attribute my
outcome to faith, family, friends and the Y."