Many students participating in the Kenosha YMCA Achievers program are challenged with existential questions concerning their personal existence. It is indeed a daunting jaunt to ponder one’s purpose alone. To what degree does, or will, my life have meaning?
For those who are privileged to work at the Kenosha YMCA, meaning can be found as we serve and encourage one another. The Achievers program is just one such way of coming alongside individuals, children, and youth, who just need someone to say, “I see you are struggling. I am here to help. Please, let me help you.”
Each day, at the end of the school day, students leave their classrooms and enter the hallways of Frank Elementary, Wilson Elementary, Brass Community School, Lincoln Middle School, and Mahone Middle School to walk to their Achievers program area. They are greeted by the Achievers staff, who are prepared with lessons, activities, snacks, and an uplifting spirit as they assist each child and youth in the academic and social-emotional learning in which they need to grow.
Each Achievers kid has been assigned to an Achievers Teacher and a Tutor. One works with them in a small group, and the other works with them individually. Each provides individualized experiences through a lively place of learning in growth through an environment full of projects, games, and teamwork.
There are approximately 200 Achievers students, with more to come as enrollments continue and our newest Achievers site at EBSOLA opens soon. In addition to the daily engagement, there are fun Achievers family and celebration events where the progress and success of the Achievers students are recognized.
Children and youth who feel lost, lonely, and lacking in who they are and what they can do become those who find purpose and direction. We help them make friends and gain confidence as they succeed in mastering the skills and concepts that had proven to be more than they thought they were capable of learning.
If we can help just one, and in the case of the Achievers, each one, who has come to us for help, then our lives surely will not be lived in vain.