Justin’s Story: The Y Building Confidence

The Y is a charity that helps its neighbors learn, grow and thrive. From A to Z, from swimming to self-esteem, we offer a variety of experiences to nurture the potential of every child and teen.

Born prematurely, Justin was having difficulty with physical and sensory developmental delays. His teachers at school suggested that swimming would help Justin overcome these delays. Justin’s parents began looking for swim programs that would accommodate their work schedules. With both parents working during the day, they had to find evening or weekend lessons. While they saw many lessons advertised, it wasn’t until they spoke to an aquatics director at the Lohse Y that they found a swim program that offered them flexibility in times that they needed.

Justin began his Saturday swim lessons, over a year ago, with anxiety. Now after continued group and private lessons, Justin is progressing with confidence, putting his face in the water and enjoying his time swimming. In addition to gaining confidence in his ability to swim, Justin has developed confidence in his body awareness. Now, Justin displays more confidence in what he can physically do. His time at the Y has helped him become more coordinated both in and out of the pool. At a recent parent-teacher conference, his teachers reported on notable improvements in Justin’s arm rotation, running and leg movement. In addition his sensory development is improving. His mother beams with pride, calling Justin’s physical and sensory improvements a miracle: “Thank you YMCA of Southern Arizona (especially the Lohse Family YMCA) for being part of our miracle!”

Fearful of swimming, like her son once was, mother Stephanie has been so inspired by Justin’s progress in the water and his newfound knowledge of water safety that she plans to join him in Y swim lessons. Her goal is to swim alongside her son instructor-free. She hopes to share in Justin’s miracle: “Miracles happen all the time!”

The Y doesn’t just strengthen bodies—it strengthens people, families, and communities. When you give to the Y, you help us create a stronger community. The Y has accomplished much in Pima County—like Justin’s “miracle”—over the past 100 years. With your help, we will continue making miracles. Give. And do so much more.