As a single parent, I appreciate that the Y has been there to provide mentors, positive examples, a positive environment and a place my son Ariel can call HOME.
Ariel has been involved with the Y since he was in 1st grade. He started in the Anaheim Achieves after school program, followed by the summer camps, and now Youth and Government. The Yâ€™s impact on my sonâ€™s life is priceless. Now as a high school kid, it has provided a second family, a place to go, a place to be himself and to call home. The loudest message I hear from him every time he returns from camp or a gathering is how the Y allows each kid to be themselves without judgment or fear; how so many kids have expressed that they feel comfortable. Itâ€™s a place that nurtures love, encouragement and support.
During a time in our kidsâ€™ life that can be tumultuous, the Y provides a safe haven, people they can talk to, and offers so many ways to be involved in a positive way, especially helping the kids of the community.
The values of the four YMCA character pillars (Honesty, Caring, Respect, and Responsibility) are in line with my beliefs and what Iâ€™ve taught Ariel. It has helped him through different stages of his life and through the programs. I see that the Y provides nothing but positive opportunities and environments for kids. I see the dedication of the staff and the leadership especially at camps. My son looks up to the counselors so much and always comes home with a sense of inspiration. The Y creates a sense of belonging by providing opportunities to meet kids you wouldnâ€™t otherwise meet and they become FAMILY.â€
Martha Rodarte, YMCA Parent