Member Spotlight: Meet Stephanie & Sirius

By Stephanie

In April 2020, I moved to Nassau County with my son Sirius in hopes of a brighter and better future.  I had concerns about finding childcare where Sirius would fit in, but most importantly, somewhere safe, welcoming and affordable.  My neighbor and staff at Sirius’ elementary school suggested YMCA’s AfterSchool Program, so I applied for financial assistance and found that childcare at the Y was not a financial burden, but a relief.  More importantly, Sirius immediately started making friends with ease.

The AfterSchool staff were very accommodating to Sirius’s needs, took time to get to know him as an individual and ultimately became mentors and a new support system.  Needless to say, we will forever be grateful for such an amazing first experience with this Y program.

Soon, we joined the YMCA at Wildlight and were able to take advantage of all the Y has to offer.  The Y membership allows me to take time for myself.  Being a single mom, I spend so much time and energy making sure my child has everything.  The Y membership gives me an opportunity to do something for myself- take care of my own spirit, mind and body. I found my own sense of community.  From group exercise to making new friends, the Y has become the place that allows me to build my support structure.

Sirius thrives in the programs and looks forward to seeing his Y friends daily in karate class, summer day camp and so much more.  The Y provides a place where my son has a sense of community, a place where my son is surrounded by good role models that help him manage his confidence, teach responsibility, empathy and respect for other.  It feels so good knowing that my son has a safe, welcoming, nurturing place to learn and grow.

As a financial assistance recipient, I admire how the staff team makes my family feel so welcomed.  Sometimes asking for help is hard and even embarrassing.  But not at the Y!  Everything is handled with care and everyone is genuinely happy we are members. We immediately felt like we were joining a family. Our Y family.

We will forever be grateful for all the Y has done to strengthen our family and for the generous donors who helped make this possible for us through the financial assistance program.