Coach Matt and Abraham’s Story

We believe the values and skills learned early on are vital building blocks for life. Because of the Y, children and teens learn values and positive behaviors, and can explore their unique talents and interests, helping them realize their potential. That makes for confident kids today and contributing and engaged adults tomorrow. That’s why we hire the best coaches and child development staff to develop tomorrow’s leaders. Abraham was the youngest in his class and had trouble focusing in school. At the age of 4, Abraham was being bullied and challenged by older kids in class. The teasing left him with self-esteem issues and a bruised ego. Someone suggested, Abraham’s mother, Carol Lee should enroll him in Safe Start. Immediately Carol saw Abraham change. “Safe Start was the best thing I did, because it gave him the confidence that if anything happened in the water, he knew what to do,” said Carol Lee. “It broke his fear.” Safe Start gave Abraham the confidence he needed in the pool and in the classroom. Swim lessons at the Y improved his attitude in school and at home. “This other kid came out,” she said. The swimming lessons were fun, but Abraham’s coaches were the ones that gave him the boost he needed. Coach Matt formed a friendship with Abraham that helped him believe in himself again. The encouragement and affirmation from his coach trumped the bullies at school. Abraham no longer feels like he has to catch up. Now, at age 5, Abraham is swimming unsupervised with “the best” at theYMCA Aquatic Center. His coaches push his limits and say he should be on a swim team next month. “We didn’t just sign up for swim lessons,” said Carol Lee. “The Y helped Abraham change the perspective he had of himself.” Find swim lessons near you.