Jennifer and Leonardo’s Story

Jessica and her son Leonardo share how the Darien YMCA has impacted their lives.

Jennifer and her son Leonardo found the Y summer camp at just the right time. Having just gone through a significant family loss, 4-year-old Leonardo was withdrawn and struggling to relate to other children his age. A dear family friend who was a member at the Y recommended that Jennifer enroll Leonardo in preschool summer camp at the Darien Y.

Leonardo truly loved camp, and quickly developed a bond with his camp counselors. Jennifer remembers these counselors as simply being kind people who clearly loved working with the campers, and this made all the difference to Leonardo. He was HAPPY, and it meant the world to his mother. She felt that her son began turning a corner with his grief and that his personality was shining through again. The experience left a lasting impact on both Jennifer and Leonardo.

This summer, Leonardo is set to come back for Explorer Camp at the Darien Y, and his mother could not be happier about it. In addition to the fact that the Darien Y summer camp is able to offer more activities than many other programs in the area – such as sailing and canoeing – Jennifer knows that the staff at the Y loves what they do, and that enthusiasm and excitement will benefit the campers. Basic kindness goes such a long way!