Jennifer L.

Haselwood Family YMCA

Jennifer's mother, Shannon, says that even at age 6, Jennifer had never been a shy person and had always been a confident child. A sparkplug from the moment she walks into a room, Jennifer certainly never lacked social skills or enthusiasm, but her demeanor around the pool made her parents wonder where their animated little girl was.

"She wouldn't try anything," Shannon says. "She wouldn't get her face wet. The (swim instructor) would say 'OK, try and dip your face in the water,' and she just wouldn't do it."

Shannon says it was the careful persistence of the Y swim instructors who helped Jennifer finally feel at ease in the water.

"One day it just happened," Shannon says. "You had to see it to believe it."

Jennifer was invigorated by her own breakthrough. She suddenly wanted to try everything the Y had to offer. She quickly conquered the climbing wall, and wanted to try every sports class available to her. She fell in love with arts and crafts, and finally had a fun, safe place to channel her energy.