Safe spaces for children are something that should be available to anyone who needs it. Donors make this possible FOR ALL. Jessica’s life is better, and her future is brighter, because of a scholarship her aunt received so Jessica could attend preschool at the Y.
Jessica, a four-year girl in one of our preschools, came to us under terrible circumstances. Jessica had been taken away from her mother after experiencing significant abuse over her four years of life. Her aunt had recently gained custody of Jessica and came to the YMCA for help when she needed a safe and quality preschool program. Jessica’s aunt needed to be able to work, but was unable to afford the cost of child care. Jessica needed a safe place to be during the day. The teachers and Y staff explained the Y’s scholarship program and Jessica’s aunt was approved for a scholarship.
Once Jessica started in the preschool class, she struggled a lot. She was unable to trust her teachers or bond with her classmates. Due to her past trauma, Jessica was too afraid to fall asleep at naptime for the first eight months in the class.
After eight months in the class, the teachers began to see a shift in Jessica. She started to build relationships with her classmates and teachers. She was starting to trust people. Her teacher realized the full impact she and the program had made on Jessica when she looked over at Jessica’s cot during naptime one day and saw Jessica peacefully sleeping. She finally felt safe enough to rest.
What you gave Jessica isn’t just a scholarship or help to pay for child care so someone could watch her while the new adult in her life went to work- You gave her love. You gave her comfort. You gave her safety. You changed her life.