Andrey’s Story

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At the Y, we believe all kids are special, each with the potential to bring unique and remarkable contributions to our world. That’s why we give all children the opportunity to shine on and off the playing field in YMCA youth sports programs.

Kids who play sports at the Y not only learn the basics of the game, but also about leadership, sportsmanship, who they are and what they can achieve. Volunteer YMCA coaches are passionate about youth development and encourage kids of all ages to stay active and never give up. The Y is the starting point for many young people for becoming and staying active while developing healthy habits they can carry with them throughout their lives. That makes for happier kids today and healthier adults tomorrow.

Whether it’s gaining confidence or building the relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement, participating in youth sports at the Y is about building the whole child from the inside out.

Growing up, Andrey struggled to find his place to fit in and make new friends. He shied away from group activities and challenging sports. “I started tennis because I thought it would be easy. I wasn’t fast,
and I didn’t want to do the exercises with the other kids,” Andrey said. “I was a heavy kid.”

Andrey’s mother knew that playing tennis at the Y meant more than learning how to play the game. “His coach taught him that if you want to do well in life, you have to respect people, you have to work hard, and you have to go for what you want.” Today, with his eyes on a college scholarship and a chance to go
pro someday, Andrey has his goals in sight and the determination to reach them. “Now, I just feel like I can do anything I want to do. If I think about it and push myself hard enough, I believe I can do it. That’s what helps me the most, when I believe in myself.”

This is just one of many examples of how youth development programs at the Y, like youth sports and day camp, are nurturing the potential of the children and teens in our community. With your support, we make sure all young people, like Andrey, have opportunities to discover who they are and what they can
achieve. Together, we are building the next generation of leaders.

See Andrey in Action

In addition to writing member stories, I also contributed to the filming, interviews and script writing for the above video.

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