Ethan & The Youth Center
The Y’s childcare and youth development programs offer kids a chance to try something new, gain confidence and feel pride in their accomplishments. When Ethan, a 12 year old boy diagnosed with autism, first joined the Lynn YMCA’s Leader’s Club middle school program he had a difficult time adjusting to new social situations and meeting new people. Then, he joined the Lynn YMCA’s Youth Center.
The Youth Center staff supported and encouraged him to be a role model to younger kids. Ethan started teaching the younger kids about pool rules, cleaning the tables, helping the younger children with their activities and even taking attendance. His hard work paid off and he was promoted to Youth Center Intern Helper.
Ethan’s mom says his new-found sense of responsibility has impacted every aspect of his life. His social skills have improved and he is more patient with the people in his life. He stays calm in situations that used to cause him great anxiety. Ethan continues to learn new skills while working at the Y and plans on moving up the ranks to “Staff in Training” this summer. Because of Ethan, the Lynn Y’s Youth Center is a better program, and in turn Ethan has benefitted from being surrounded by kids and staff that care for and are inspired by him.