The Y is more than a gym… it’s a cause. The Y is a charity dedicated to youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. For thirteen-year-old Rayne, the Y is where she’s grown up. The Y is the start of her future.
At 13, Rayne has big dreams for her future and a clear path for how to achieve them. Her dreams began at the Y where she discovered her passion for volleyball. At age six, learning volleyball at the Y, Rayne dreamed of improving her skills and eventually playing volleyball as a member of the U.S. Olympic team. As she’s gotten older, she has refined her dreams, but her passion and commitment to realize them is as strong as they were at 6.
The Y remains a means to achieve her goals. Now Rayne is striving to excel in school and sports so that she can attend college on scholarship, preferably sports scholarships. On the path to her dreams, Rayne participates in all of the youth leadership programs the Y has to offer, including Y Leaders and Youth in Government, and has done so since she was old enough to join the Junior Y Leaders. Rayne “felt personally that she needed to join the Y leadership programs” because she wanted to take the steps to realize her dream. Rayne is committed to earning scholarships to attend college as she is acutely aware of the financial hardships faced by her single mother.
The Y has done more for Rayne than help her shape and realize her dreams. Having been a Y member with her mother from the time she was 5, Rayne sees the Y as a second home, a support system that she can turn to in times of trouble. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, Rayne was only 10 and had to face her fears of what might happen without the support of the adult she is closest to—her mother. During this time, Rayne found adults at the Y who she could trust and rely on for support. These adults continue to be there for Rayne.
Rayne has grown up at the Y, both literally and figuratively. While she moved from the Y child care to the Angel Youth Center and the Y leadership programs, Rayne has grown to appreciate differences in people. “Being at the Y has opened my mind to people I might not have befriended somewhere else.”
The Y has helped Rayne overcome obstacles and unleash her potential. The Y has provided Rayne with a roadmap for her future.
We have an extraordinary opportunity to ensure a brighter future for other children in Pima County, but we must take action today, and your support will make it possible. When you give to the YMCA of Southern Arizona, your generosity reaches children like Rayne, families, and seniors throughout our community. Your gift will help young people realize their potential, empower people of all ages to lead healthier lives, and strengthen the bonds of community. Every gift matters. Everyone has a role to play. Together we can do so much more.