Alfredo F.

Morgan Family YMCA

At the tender age of two, Alfredo had brain surgery, which left him with long-lasting physical complications. His parents discovered the Y's Swim for Exceptional Children, a program that allows children with disabilities to spend time in the water with occupational therapists, who address their needs and teach basic swimming skills.

It was an immediate fit for Alfredo. Water, for him, proved to be the ultimate equalizer, giving him the chance to feel like everyone else. After a year in the program, Alfredo learned to propel through the water with the freedom he has not yet found on land. He even advanced into standard preschool swim lessons, and has made great strides verbally and socially.

"Stories like Alfredo's are why I teach," said instructor Tiffany. "You can't put a price tag on being part of these experiences."