April's Story

Mark photoThe YMCA has helped me in so many ways that I am truly grateful for. Words can't say enough. 
The generous support from the YMCA Center for Young Adults has made a huge difference in my ability to succeed in earning an Associate Degree in Occupational and Life Skills (OLS) at Bellevue College. This four-year program prepares students with a wide range of disabilities to become self-determined, responsible citizens with job skills who can live independently.     I will graduate this June.
Neither of my parents was able to take care of me or my brother, and we were both in foster care starting when I was 13. We were adopted by our foster mother. However, right after I got out of high school I was kicked out of her house and I ended up staying with my godmother until I could find housing for myself.  With my godmother's help we found the YMCA and learned what they are about. 
My godfather and I attended a workshop at the Y and were very impressed with how they explained things and what I needed to do to be in this program.  After the meeting I was put on a waiting list to get into the Bellevue Shared Home. 

During the two years I lived at the Bellevue Shared Home I learned why it's important to have meetings, keep things in place and how to communicate as part of a group.  With that experience, I have been able to live in a regular apartment with a roommate.  The Y also provided needed scholarship funds and a matched savings account, and now I can  finish college.