When it was time for Camila to start Kindergarten, Yanira was in need for after school care for her daughter. After researching  every available option in Cupertino she found herself in despair. There was nothing available that she could afford, and none of the options was open long enough to cover her work hours.

Yanira called the Cupertino School District and asked them for advice. “What do I do, I can’t bring my daughter with me to work, and the services provided in our community doesn’t fit my needs and budget. The advice I got from the school district was to call the YMCA, they told me they’d be my best option.”

Life as a single mother can be very challenging. After a difficult divorce, Yanira was left with almost nothing. She was lucky that she could move in with the family she currently worked for. They provided Yanira and Camila with a roof over their heads, and a car for Yanira to use so she could drive to work and take Camila to school. “With no family in the area, they became our new family. Camila relates to the children in the family as her siblings, and she loves their grandmother as if she was her own.”

Yanira and Camila

“I suffer from Fibromyalgia. I think it is stress that makes it worse. But I’m hopeful and I count my blessings. The Y is definitely one of them. Thanks to their scholarship I can afford to have Camila in a safe and caring environment every day after school. The summers are filled with fun summer camps and I am amazed how much Camila has developed during her time with the Y. I remember the first year Camila went to camp. She didn’t know how to swim, she didn’t know how to swing on the monkey bars and she came home sad and frustrated during the first week of camp.

Now, two years later, I have a confident swimmer, I watch her swing on the monkey bars on the playground, and every day I am amazed by how much she has developed. I took her to Santa Cruz board walk last summer. When I brought her to the rides for the youngest children she looked at me and started laughing… ‘Mom, I do the big rides now! Take me to the roller coaster!’ My little girl has grown so much and developed into a confident 2nd grader that loves life. For that I am so thankful. I want to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone who donates to the YMCA, it makes a big difference in my life. I hope my story can inspire others in need to seek help and assistance from the Y. You’ll be glad you did!”

Northwest Y
By: Ursula H