My Y Stories

Empowering Our Community

Whether we’re a resource for a teen needing academic assistance, a place for a business professional to get a workout in, or even just a place for a senior to stay active and social, it’s clear to see we’re many different things to many different people! No matter what you visit our family centers for, the Y’s impact is undeniable. We strive to empower our community through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.

A Safe Space to be Yourself

“We couldn’t have done it without the Y. The Y has brought out something within us that we didn’t know we could bring out again.”

Missy is autistic and Vicki was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. After being cooped up at home, they decided to visit the Y. Now, both mother and daughter are healthier in spirit, mind, and body.

Rediscovering what Moves You

“The Y offers much, much more than the ability to just [workout]. I have found community here, relationships that I never would have found anywhere else.”

After being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Diane applied for a scholarship and got a membership at the Y. Not only did Dianne improve her physical health, but she rekindled her passion for dance and made lifelong friends.

Helping You Commit to Yourself

“I want to be here for a long time with my kids, and […] I want to give them the best life that I can. I decided to become a better version of myself so I could be a better mom and a better wife.”

Joann was simply looking for a gym where she could stay healthy while she was pregnant with her second child, and could also get childcare for her daughter. But when she found the Y, she found so much more.

What Strength Means to You

“The YMCA offers an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion, and I think that’s super important because at so many other places, that culture isn’t there…”

Born in Russia, Reese was a toddler when he was put up for adoption. Labeled an “invalid” and “defective” by those around him, he describes how being involved at the Y changed his perspective on life, and showed him what strength truly means.

Developing Support Networks

“Swimming with the Y has not only taught me about commitment, but it has taught me about discipline and perseverance.”

When the Taylor family was faced with tragedy, the Y swim community embraced them with love and support. This helped them keep going, and to helped motivate daughter Olivia to become a National Champion swimmer.

Taking Care of Our Neighbors

“It sounds cliché to say ‘the Y saved my life’ but it really saved us. We didn’t have a community. […] Now basically everything we need, I can ask my Y community for advice.”

After Luka was born with health complications, Lizzie and her husband spent many years at home and in and out of hospitals. With the help of our scholarships, Lizzie and her family were able to experience the life-changing benefits of the Y.

Grow Your Relationship with God

“I thought it would be a good idea to go to the conference. I just didn’t expect to have such a deep connection with all of these different people I hadn’t met before.”

Kierra was balancing academic extracurriculars, taking care of her family, and trying to grow in her faith. As a result, she decided to attend the YMCA Christian Values Conference.

Becoming Healthy and Stress-free

“Everything that the Y provides helped me deal with that stress in a different kind of way. They motivate me in ways that people just don’t really think about. That first day, it was like a fresh, new beginning for me.”

Johnnie has been working with children for 33+ years with at-risk youth and families. She turned to stress eating to cope. Now, she’s learning new techniques to be healthier and how to relieve her stress.

Making Dreams a Reality

“Without the YMCA I don’t know how my kids would’ve received the experience they’re getting now in sports […] or even to be part of a family, because the YMCA is family to us.”

The Laing family moved to Orlando from the Bahamas for more academical, spiritual, and social opportunities. Franklin, their son, plays basketball at the Y and dreams of playing in the NBA. Victory, their daughter, received a scholarship to develop her soccer skills.

Getting Access for Everyone

“That day, my pastor Brad said, ‘The church is going to sponsor the kids for summer camp.’ I didn’t tell them until we got to the camp the next week! It was a big blessing.”

Grayling knows that being there for his kids, Trey and Evalyn, matters more than anything. As a full-time single father, he works hard to make sure they don’t miss out on any experiences.

Helping to Build Relationships

“I think anytime you’re working toward something that’s hard with someone else, you’re growing personally but also you’re growing together.”

Meredith and Alex share the story of how they met and fell in love at the Downtown Orlando Y, and how health and wellness have played a role in strengthening their relationship.

Take it to a New Level

“Exercise has always been in my life. […] I thought that I was great at working out, but having a personal trainer has changed my life.”

Amanda has always worked to keep herself fit. But it wasn’t until she began working with a certified personal trainer at the Y that she noticed drastic improvements. Now, she’s amazed at what she’s capable of!

We’d love to hear how the Y has made a difference in your life.

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