A Change For The Better

Trevonn Kidd came to the YMCA Phoenix School as a result of some poor decisions he made that got him in trouble. He was planning to drop out of school and really didn’t care about anything. He’d heard bad things about the Phoenix School and was just going to try to make it through. Soon after enrolling, he realized the staff genuinely cared about him and that they weren’t out to get him. The staff was there to provide him with the support he needed to change.

Trevonn came to understand that his future was dependent on learning to follow rules. While at the Phoenix School his home life improved, too. He had been very disrespectful to his mother and realized he was wrong.

It’s been a long road for Trevonn. During some very dark times, he made choices that took away his chances at playing high school basketball and possibly getting a college scholarship.

“I hit rock bottom and asked myself what have I done?” said Trevonn. “I looked back at the time I wasted doing things I knew were wrong. My mother raised me better than that!”

Getting to know other Phoenix School students helped Trevonn realize his life wasn’t as bad as he thought. Hearing their stories helped him see the truth about living a life with no regard for rules or consequences. Some of them had made really poor choices and  he saw the reality of their consequences.

“I started to take ownership of my choices and found myself wanting to change for the better,” Trevonn continued.

Thanks to a determined spirit and support from individuals who truly cared about him, Trevonn graduated, is involved in a job- training program, and is considering enrolling in a two-year post secondary program. He’s happy he had a chance to get back on track, hopeful about building a brighter future, and ready to go after his dreams.
Staff, parent and student survey responses from Akron Area YMCA Phoenix School and mentoring programs show the following participant benefits:

88% developed positive relationships with adults.
86% developed positive relationships with peers.
86% established stability in their living /school environment.

London’s Passion

London Green has been a member of the youth volleyball team at the East Akron YMCA since its inception. She has developed a true passion for the sport!

According to her mother, participating in the East Akron YMCA’s youth volleyball program has been a great experience for London. She enjoys meeting new people and has made many new friends. London is passionate about the sport, practices at home and wants to participate in the program even when her friends are not able to attend.

“London has truly grown as a volleyball player and is learning how to push herself mentally and physically. She is learning the benefits of hard work as she watches her skills improve,” said London’s mother. “This program does more than provide an opportunity for extracurricular activity or a chance to learn the sport, it positively impacts the body, mind and spirit.”

Surveyed participants in Akron Area YMCA fitness, sports and aquatics programs reported the following benefits:

97% reported a positive impact on their spirit, mind and body.
94% reported developing a passionate interest.
97% reported enjoying social interaction.

Kathleen Expresses Gratitude

At the East Akron YMCA’s 2011 Thanks for Giving Dinner, Kathleen, a 1988 Phoenix School participant, expressed her gratitude to the staff and supporters of the Phoenix School and shared the positive impact they have had on her life.

Kathleen was sent to the Phoenix School after five stays at the Dan Street Juvenile Detention Center for unruliness. Mr. Gardenhight, a teacher at the Phoenix School, became a father figure for her and to this day she feels she could go to him with 
a problem.  

“The staff at Phoenix made me feel cared about and noticed for the first time. They also helped me see the other side of issues as they arose. They taught me that we all have the ability to make choices and the quality of those choices directly impacts our quality of life,” explained Kathleen. “They helped me to be more open toward others and interact with students of varying backgrounds. I became much more outgoing as a result.”

Kathleen returned to her home school, received her GED and specialized training in medical assisting and has been gainfully employed in the medical assisting field since.  
Like Kathleen, survey respondents from the Akron Area YMCA’s Phoenix School 
and mentoring programs report the following benefits:
95% develop positive relationships with adults.
95% learn to work effectively with others.
92% develop positive relationships with peers.

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Contact Information

Phoenix School
65 Steiner Ave
Akron, Ohio 44310
(330) 784-0408