For 15-year-old Jordan, YMCA Teen Nights are about more than just sports and socializing. There are about having somewhere safe to go – away from his own home.
“The neighbourhood I live in is kind of bad and it’s good to get out of there,” he explains. “The police are around a lot. People are getting arrested. I just don’t want to be there to see all of that stuff, so I leave.”
Jordan has been making his way to Teen Night every week for almost a year and he couldn’t be more grateful. In fact, he hopes other kids in similar tough situations will try the program as well. “Since my neighbourhood is one of the horrible neighbourhoods, I would tell kids if you want to get away from all this badness, just come with me to YMCA Teen Night – it’s a good place.”
Whether kids choose to play basketball, attend a health and wellness workshop, swim or work out, YMCA Teen Nights enable youth to spend time with their friends at the Y with adult supervision. For Jordan, Teen Night gives him the chance to practice his dance moves each week. But, really, it gives him so much more. Coming to Teen Night means “I don’t have to get in trouble,” he says, honestly. “I’ve made so many new friends.”
But there are many kids like Jordan who do not have access to a Teen Nights in their area. You can help us expand this vital program so we can help many more youth who need us. Click here to make a difference.See all impact stories