Tra S.

Tacoma Center YMCA

They say you can't judge a book by its cover, and that has definitely been Tra's motto. After getting mixed up with the wrong crowd, Tra returned to Tacoma to get his life back on track. He knew he needed to surround himself with positive role models, so in 2009 he began attending Teen Late Nite every weekend at the Y.
 
Tra credits Y staff like Chris Spivey, for making a profound impact on his life. "Chris is the kind of guy that makes you feel like you belong here and you really matter," says Tra. "I have learned so much about what it means to be an honest, caring person from him and other Y staff."
 
Also an avid pianist, Tra says, "When people look at me, they are shocked when I tell them I love to play piano." He feels music is the creative outlet he's always been looking for. As a self-taught pianist, Tra says learning piano has been the hardest, most rewarding thing he has ever done. "My Auntie and Father were both musicians and I know seeing the man I have become today, they would be proud," said Tra.
 
Now 21 years of age with pursuits of going back to college to achieve his Bachelor's degree and play professional football, Tra says he is grateful for the positive impact the Y has had on his life and for the assistance with homework and resume writing they have provided. "I don't know where I would be without the Y," says Tra.