The Lynn YMCA of Metro North has received funding from Wells Fargo in support of the Youth Center for the 2019 – 2020 school year.
Recently, the Metro North YMCA started their first inter-association youth basketball league, allowing kids to represent their local Ys and compete against teams from other YMCA’s within the association. The league is accepting of all abilities and basketball skill levels, which was key to young Kenry Limat, who was excited to improve his basketball skills and be part of a team for the first time.
A 7th grade student at KIPP Academy, Kenry and has been attending the Lynn YMCA’s Drop-in Youth Center for the past six years. The Drop-In Center is an affordable, inclusive, and structured after-school program that provides children with a safe environment where they can complete homework, and enjoy a variety of activities. It was during one of these visits to the Y that he discovered his love for basketball. The game simply excites him. He enjoys dribbling, shooting and challenging others to games of horse.
“Kenry loves Baseball but never gets a welcomed in many other places he visited,” exclaimed his mother Marie,” This was very challenging for me because he is confident that he can play but not so much for many other coaches. I am very very grateful that the Y allowed him to have this experience during the summer tournament.”
Since Kenry is autistic he hasn’t had many opportunities to play basketball in a more organized fashion, until this summer. Nevertheless, Kenry has been able to thrive in the atmosphere provided at the youth center, where he has the choice to pursue his interests individually, as well as practicing and developing social emotional skills activities with larger groups. These skills are fundamental to our youth and can be more challenging to learn in a classroom.
Kenry’s mother, Marie explained how much he loves being a part of the Lynn YMCA team, “I remember one day I said to Kenry: “are you sure you want to go play today? And Kenry replied: yes mom, I have to help my team to win”. Marie says says Kenry’s goal is to one day become a professional basketball player. “Thank you to the Y, so much, for your patience with Kenry because you’re definitely part of the team that’s helping him build his positive social behavior skills through activities like basketball.”
The Youth Center at the Lynn YMCA allows the mission of building strong kids, families and communities to be carried out flawlessly. As an anchor in the community for 149 years, the Lynn Y has been providing youth development services for its entire history. Today, children ages 3-18 can participate in the Y Academy- a licensed early learning and out of school time program- as well as a drop in Youth Center. This busy YMCA serves as many as 700 youth a day in high quality programs focused on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Over 95% of youth in our programs require financial assistance in order to participate.
Thanks in part to Wells Fargo, children like Kenry are able to participate in our youth programming and build confidence through healthy risk taking.