Many YMCA locations offer health and fitness programs throughout the valley, but did you know they also provide youth development classes and work readiness programs such as the Y-Achievers program. This program for young adults inspires and guides persons up to twenty-two years of age  to prepare and study for their general education degree. Two students from this program have graciously agreed to share their success stories for all the community to hear.

Laura Murillo and Jose Quintero both joined the Y-Achievers program with nearly 4 years of school absence. By some serendipitous happening, Laura and Jose actually attended the same high school together. Since then, they both had endured the most life can throw at any young, up and coming high school students.

Jose’s Story

Twenty-two-year-old Jose Quintero joined Y-Achievers June of 2014. Almost certain he was out of touch with most of his preordained knowledge, he began to buckle down and study, tackling down subject after subject. He now only has one GED assessment left and is currently employed as a writing intern for the Valley of the Sun YMCA.

“The Y-Achievers program is filled with so many inspiring people who really want to see you succeed and genuinely care,” Jose said. “I am most grateful and will not take for granted all the opportunities I have been offered. Thank you. ”

Laura’s Story

Laura Murillo became part of the Y-achievers youth program September of 2014. Only after a few days she realized just how many resources and support the amazing staff offered. Devoting herself to studying endlessly, and with a child to care for, the twenty-one-year-old student managed to receive her G.E.D. in less than three months. On a wonderful, new path in life, Laura is planning for her future to become an Astrophysicist.

“With the support from my case managers and teachers, the YMCA helped me gain confidence in knowing i can achieve my dreams if i set my mind to it,” Laura said.

This inspiring and exciting story from our community is what we strive to hear. Congratulations to the students for working hard to take their future into their own hands. A big thank you to the organizers and staff at Y-Achievers for showing the community we are not just a gym and for making a difference, day by day, student by student.

See what the YMCA can do for you. Browse our site and be brave. Someone will always be willing to help.

by Joseph Lewis