Andy's Story

When Andy first enrolled in the YMCA’s afterschool program, he lacked motivation to complete his schoolwork, and family troubles at home reflected in his poor behavior at school. Andy’s mother had recently separated from his father, who battled with drug addiction, leaving Andy’s mother alone to parent three children.  While the parents’ separation took a toll on all three children, it especially hurt Andy. As a result, Andy’s struggle to adjust to the change at home caused his grades to decline, and some days, he had to be picked up due to his difficult behavior.

Feeling hopeless about her son’s behavior and concerned about his grades, Andy’s mother was thankful when YMCA aftercare staff reached out to her about programs they planned to implement that would connect with Andy’s interests. As soon as YMCA staff mentioned the startup of a technology club, Andy’s mother was thrilled, because Andy would get to explore technology that he didn’t have access to at home.

Just as his mother had predicted, the technology club was the perfect fit for Andy.  He was immediately filled with excitement at the opportunity to try out technology that he had never before experienced.

With a newfound love for technology and computers, Andy reacquired the motivation to learn and excel in school. His behavior has completely transformed, his grades have significantly improved, and he has even become a program leader. According to Andy’s mother, Andy now dreams of becoming a “computer person” when he gets older.

Cedar Valley United Way is proud to support programs like the YMCA’s afterschool program that help people like Andy. Together, we fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community. To live better, we must Live United.

We are Cedar Valley Strong!       

*Names in the story have been altered to preserve anonymity.