In a new town, I found a social circle for myself and my kids

When my family and I moved to Oakville in 2006, I immediately sought out the Y. We were members at the Cambridge Y and I knew the benefits it could offer, especially for home school families like ours.

To my surprise, the Y here had an even better home school program for families. I signed up right away and found a support network and a social circle for both myself and my kids. It was a great way for my daughter, Kayla and my son, Michael to meet other kids who were also home schooled – as well as those who weren’t.

For my kids, the YMCA has been transforming. Carol, YMCA member since 2006

My new home school group gave us the kind of support I was seeking — and more. I became friends with many of the moms in the group and we often met outside of class. Some of the moms even organized social gatherings like swimming in the summertime and coffee chats. We have all built friendships. It has been one of the greatest things in our life. For my kids, the benefits have also been transforming. For Kayla, she found a place to make friends, something she couldn’t get being home schooled. She had the chance to interact and form relationships with other kids. The Y was her place to connect. She has learned to be confident and it`s the opportunity to be around younger and older kids that has helped her to blossom.

When Michael was younger, he had trouble managing some of his emotions. But thanks to many of the program leaders here, he has learned how to be part of a team and to become a leader in his own way.

Today, he works part-time as a swim instructor and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Both of my kids have built healthy relationships at the Y and they both think it’s a great place to be. They have formed relationships with program leaders like Quentin who take the time to talk to them, know what they`re interested in and help build their self-esteem. Today, if you walk through the doors of the Y on any given day, you’ll see me upstairs in the wellness centre (I’ve started my weight loss journey!), Michael teaching aquatics or Kayla inspiring younger kids in Game On. I’m not sure where we would all be without the Y. You walk in here and you know everyone. It`s a community and a place we all love.

– Carol