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Maria Delgado was searching for an affordable outlet for her daughter Arlene (11). It was a difficult time of transition for the mother and daughter in the middle of moving homes. As the parent of an only child, Maria wanted not only to find a sport for Arlene to be active but also a place for her daughter to make friends, so they came to the Highland YMCA. 

Reports show that one in four Americans is physically inactive.1 At the Y, we know the impact of physical activity is far-reaching. Regular physical activity can produce long-term health benefits by preventing chronic disease, relieving stress, decreasing depression, and increasing your self-esteem.

Unsure of where to start, Maria had many questions. “Marvin helped me find the right thing for my daughter; he gave me a lot of ideas and examples and really helped me with all my questions,” said Maria.

“I didn’t think I would be able to afford it.” When Maria learned that the Y Financial Assistance program was able to help with the cost, she signed Arlene up for gymnastics.

“The Y really helps anyone that wants to join no matter their age or income,” said Maria. “I’m never going to forget this; they really supported my daughter and me.”

The moment they stepped into the Y for Arlene’s first class, Maria knew she had made the right decision. “I walked through the doors, and my friends were already there,” said Maria, “it was great.”

Searching for the right fit, soon Arlene was signed up for swim lessons, day camp, and youth basketball at the Highland Y. “It was a big step for her to get out there and try,” shared Maria. “I was motivating her, saying I know you can do this.” 

“As we started coming, I noticed my daughter coming out of her box. Every single day she started opening up,” shared Maria. “When she got to play in a game, she was so happy; it really motivated her.”

Seeing the changes to Arlene’s confidence and self-esteem, Maria is delighted. “It boosted my confidence as well, supporting my daughter at the game, talking to parents, and just being there and being active.”

Maria loves coming to the Y and participating in the free group exercise classes. She enjoys the community it provides and says that it has boosted her self-esteem. “Every day I would go to the Y, the staff was supportive, you felt connected. Every time you came, it was like you were going home, everyone is happy you are there.”

“It has been great to see Arlene grow and make friends in all the activities she has participated in,” shared Marvin Hernandez, the Highland Family YMCA Sports and Membership Director. “Seeing Maria focus on their fitness sets an excellent example for Arlene. They are both creating the foundation for an active lifestyle that prioritizes their health and wellbeing.”

Through your donations to the Y, we have removed the financial barriers to fitness opportunities. By offering programs for all ages and abilities, we ensure that all are welcomed and encouraged to pursue a healthier lifestyle. With your support, every day the Y works to create a healthier and stronger community for all.

Nearly 1 in 4 children in the US are physically inactive.2

  1. Physical Activity Council. 2020. https://eb6d91a4-d249-47b8-a5cb-933f7971db54.filesusr.com/ugd/286de6_c28995b76cf94de2a22ac7a0a4d5264d.pdf.
  2. Babey, Susan, Joelle Wolstein, and Allison Diamant. 2018. Few California Children And Adolescents Meet Physical Activity Guidelines. Image. http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/publications/Documents/PDF/2018/physicalactivity-brief-sept2018.pdf.

Support members like Maria & Arlene

1 in 4 support Financial Assistance

The YMCA provides Financial Assistance so that we can eliminate the financial barriers that keep families and individuals from wellness resources and a community of support. When you donate to the YMCA of the East Valley, 100% of those donations go straight into our Financial Assistance program so we can serve more in our community.