Building Character and Leadership: Javier's Story
I moved around a lot when I was a kid. I lived with my mom in the Bronx, I moved to Florida, then upstate New York. I came to live with my grandma full time my sophomore year of high school. That’s when my friends invited me to come to the Y.
At first it was a place to play basketball and see my friends. But I’ve taken every opportunity there is at the Y. The Rowe Scholars program has helped me with college applications. I want to go to John Jay and major in psychology or criminal justice. I also joined the Leaders Club and did community service projects. I even got to volunteer at my old middle school.
"I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Y. They’ve helped me with college applications. I’ve done community service projects. It’s the shoulder I need to keep me up. A safe zone where you can be yourself. The YMCA is a way of life." - Javier Lopez
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Y. It’s the shoulder I need to keep me up and support me. It’s a safe zone where you can be yourself. That’s because of my amazing teachers. I trust them. They’ve inspired me. I hope to become a camp counselor next year so I can stay involved with the Y. The YMCA is a way of life.