Jerrell O.

Lakewood Family YMCA

Jerrell has big ambitions to be a professional basketball player and an air traffic controller. He easily one of the hardest working teens at the Y, coming seven days a week to work on his basketball skills and academic development.

"My ultimate goal is to play professional basketball, but I don't want to limit myself to just basketball, I also want to be an air traffic controller," said Jerrell.

He understands in order to fulfill his dreams, he has to work hard and the Y provides an environment for him to grow and develop. Jerrell believes the Y is a protected environment to help him stay focused on the course to success.

"I've seen many of my friends get involved with drugs and gangs but I don't see that as a good pathway for the future, so it's great that I have the Y," said Jerrell. "It's a place I can escape from all the negativity.I feel protected here, by just being within the walls of the Y I have confidence that I'm in the right place. I just don't believe I can fail, I have everything I need."