Demone M.

Morgan Family YMCA

Through the generosity of donors and caring staff, Demone found a family at the Y. Abandoned twice as an adolescent in less than two years, Demone found himself in the foster care system, but made his family in the street gangs of Tacoma. At age 13, he was invited to Teen Late Nite at the Y, and from that experience, Demone was able to leave the streets.

"The Y staff never gave up on me," said Demone. "No matter what I did, they showed me love."

Through multiple challenges in his life, Demone knew he could always find his way at the Y. It's been 23 years since Demone first came to the Y as a participant. Now, as a staff member and mentor to teens, he's teaching the same respect and responsibility he learned to other troubled teens.

"I'm here for the kids and whatever I can do for the community," said Demone.

Committed to developing teens every Friday night in the same program that gave him a second chance, Demone is spreading the message of, "No matter what you're doing in life, you can always make a change for the better."