Denise and Leilani Weaver
“The Y is family and always has been,” shares Denise Weaver, summing up her experience as a single mom who, for many years, has relied on the programs and staff of the City Center branch to help her provide safe, enriching and fun opportunities for her kids. Her two older children, now ages 19 and 22, attended the former YMCA site on N. Queen Street when they were young. These days, her 8-year-old daughter, Leilani enjoys summer day camp, Fit Kids and the after school program at the City branch. She learned how to swim at the Y, and the pool is still one of her favorite places there. Leilani breaks into a big smile when recalling a field trip to Camp Shand during the City Y’s day camp this summer, where she enjoyed hiking, games and a dip in their pool!
“I love that she’s not just sitting with a babysitter after school – at the Y she stays active and her mind is still working,” says Denise. Just as important are her trusting, supportive relationships with Y staff; as a somewhat “nervous mom,” she recalls reaching out for updates when Leilani first attended, and is grateful for how Y staff thoughtfully put her mind at ease. Leilani recently switched schools and the transition was made easier when she met some future classmates at the Y this summer; now she looks forward to reconnecting with these kids after school, always finding friendly faces to greet her. It’s also important to Denise that Lelaini can get to know people with different backgrounds and life experiences at the Y. They’re proud to be part of a community open to all, and where, whether through a financial scholarship or after school tutoring, everyone is set up to succeed.