Jonelle S.

Tacoma Center YMCA

The aftermath of a difficult divorce left Jonelle in great need of a fresh start. She realized that she needed to reconnect with her passions and to learn some necessary life skills, so in 2011, she decided to join the Y. Having recently moved from Vancouver Island, she didn't know many people and was hoping the Y might help her establish new friendships and a sense of community.

That's exactly what she found. Through programs like Journey to Freedom, yoga, and cooking classes, Jonelle met other people who, like herself, were in the midst of challenging situations and could empathize with her experiences. Beyond that, Jonelle reports that she reconnected with the piano through the Y's piano instructor, Greg Marshall. "His encouragement and friendship have inspired me to perform again."
 
Not only is Jonelle making music again, she's also paying it forward as a volunteer piano teacher at Late Nite."The courage and strength I have gained through my Y experiences have enabled me to move from my brother's house to an apartment of my own, playing piano in a trio, and performing at various venues, including the YMCA," she reports.