Roger C.

Tacoma Center YMCA

Sometimes, youth are often pressured to grow up sooner than they should. That was exactly how 17 year old Roger felt. Being raised by a single mother with several children, he often felt the pressure of responsibility and being dismissed.

“Sometimes, I don’t feel like people care,” says Roger.

Roger admits to working throughout high school to help support his family and pay for school clothes. Recently, he said he had been having some trouble getting to class.

In an effort to enjoy his childhood and be surrounded by caring adults, he was invited to Teen Late Nite at the Tacoma Center YMCA beginning in the summer of 2010.

“I love playing basketball,” says Roger with a smile on his face. He loves getting to be with other teens his own age and learn how to navigate some of life’s challenges.

“I know when I come to (Teen) Late Nite I will learn about things that will help me later in life,” says Roger.

“Since attending the program for the past 6 years, our Teen Department has noticed a dramatic change in his behavior,” says Teen Director, Gary McCurty. “Since we have let him know that we care about him and want him to do well in school, Roger has begun to smile more.”

With the support of his family and the YMCA’s Teen Department, Roger has made it a priority to continue attending school and not skipping class.