Spotlight- Xavier's Story
"It's a place where I can concentrate."
This was sixth grader Xavier Marshall's reply when asked what he loves most about coming to the Hearin-Chandler Family YMCA. As one of five children, Xavier rarely finds time at home where he can simply pull away from the noise of living in the inner-city and just be himself. At the Y, he is able to be just that.
As a participant of Hearin-Chandler's "Keys To The Y" program, Xavier is personally mentored by high school and college-aged volunteers throughout the week. "Keys To The Y" was developed to focus on the core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility while helping our youth unlock their potential in a safe, nurturing environment.
Xavier feels the Y provides an atmosphere of encouragement that makes him believe he can achieve his dreams. According to Xavier, "Keys To The Y" Program Coordinator Victoria Jackson has played a big role in making the Y feel like home.
"She always gives me advice on the right way to handle bad situations at school when it comes to bullying, and she helps me stay focused on the positive things in life," he said.
He also praised one of the volunteers, Keith, who helps him with his homework and reminds him that he won't have to worry about it later if he strives for excellence from the very beginning.
Xavier embodies everything "Keys To The Y" was created for, and is the essence of why we strive for a better community, and for a better us.