Aura Maria's Story | West Suburban YMCA

Aura Maria's Story: The Opportunity to Succeed

Dec 11, 2019

"I recently came to the United States from Colombia because I received a partial scholarship to UMass to study English full-time. I am staying with my friend Paola, who is like my sister, and her husband. I came here to improve my English and with that my professional profile, so I can have better job opportunities in my country. I came here with some money for my flight and a few savings. On top of that, I am on a student visa and cannot work.

My daughter Emma is in preschool, and I wanted to find a way for her to get involved, but we were worried about how to pay for any programs. Paola told me about the West Suburban YMCA, and together, we wrote a letter to the Y explaining my situation and how we would love for Emma to participate in the preschool program. We were so excited to receive financial aid that has made it possible for Emma to come to preschool at the Y.

In the beginning, Emma was afraid to go to preschool and cried her first day. It was hard for Emma to adjust because she was experiencing many changes and spoke very little English. But right away, she met two other kids who spoke Spanish and who wanted to help her. She also has amazing and caring teachers that helped her get used to the Y quickly. Now, Emma is so happy and she LOVES coming to the Y! Without financial aid, this would not have been possible. I am grateful my daughter has the opportunity to grow, learn, and play regardless of our background or ability to pay."

The rising cost of child care nationwide is a major hurdle for many families. Roughly one third of West Suburban YMCA child care participants receive financial aid. If you would like to give all families the opportunity to succeed like Aura Maria and Emma, consider a donation to the Y's Annual Fund.