YMCA OF GREATER OKLAHOMA CITY

For A
Better Us.

MAKING COOL KIDS GREAT

Meet Jaiden

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Five, four, three, two, one!

After hanging backpacks on their hooks and washing dirty hands, after school activities can begin. From relay races in the gym, to games in the Adventure Center and healthy snacks outdoors, the Y after school program has something for every kid.

For Jaiden, a vibrant nine-year old, with an infectious smile and wit beyond his years, the Y is a place where he can be himself and grow into a young man. He enjoys playing football with his friends and says he’s the “main man” on the field. But football isn’t the only thing he’s mastered at the Y.

When Mr. Omari joined the Y staff, he asked the kids if they knew how to play chess. As you would suspect, they did not. Mr. Omari taught Jaiden and his friends how to play and created tournaments for them to continue to learn, not only the game, but sportsmanship, manners and strategic thinking.

“I used to be rookie, now I’m an expert,” Jaiden exclaims!

In addition to being a safe place to build trusting relationships, to learn to play chess and to get help with his homework, the Y offers Jaiden’s mom peace of mind.

“The Y is like a middle ground for us,” A’dria, Jaiden’s mom explains. “I’m not always able to take him to school or pick him up because of work, so it’s very helpful to have someone who can help.”

“Without the Y, I don’t think our lives would have as much stability. The Y is dependable and contributes a lot to me.”

A’dria takes time for herself in her favorite Bodypump class or working out in the fitness center. She speaks about the kind staff and how they are encouraging and can turn a bad day into a good one, just by simply being friendly.

It’s clear to see that the Y is a big part of this family and in turn they are a big part of the Y family. Jaiden lights up the halls and A’dria loves that Jaiden can be Jaiden at the Y.

“They bring out the best in him. They allow him to be himself and I appreciate that. He’s already a cool kid; they’re making him great.”