Family Reaps Benefits of Membership – Meet Aubree and Caleese

By April 10, 2019 Y Stories

Tanika is one busy woman. She has a full-time job and five children ages 3 to 15. Tanika knows the importance of keeping her kids busy and active. She instills in her children a good work ethic and the importance of eating healthy and moving every day. Tanika and her five children are Strong Kids scholarship recipients. Tanika said that without the scholarship program, her kids would simply not be able to participate in the programs the YMCA offers. Her children have participated in several YMCA programs from Tae Kwon Do, baseball, basketball, swim lessons and gymnastics. Tanika’s daughters, Aubree and Caleese, have been part of the recreational gymnastics program for the last four years. They love the class and have enjoyed meeting a diverse group of kids. Bailey, Aubree’s and Caleese’s gymnastics coach, says, “I would describe Aubree as helpful and kind and she is always excited to be in gymnastics and has an open mind when it comes to new skills. Caleese is energetic and friendly and she loves being in class. Both girls are very welcoming to new classmates and have made many friends through gymnastics. They are a joy to have in class and always come into the gym with positive attitudes.” Each of Tanika’s kids learned to swim at the Y. This has proved to be a very valuable skill for her oldest daughter, Carlee. Carlee is a competitive swimmer for her high school team and is now a swim instructor for the YMCA. She is teaching the important skills of swimming that once were taught to her. Carlee loves teaching her favorite sport and the extra money has been helpful too. Tanika says, “The benefits my kids are getting from these programs are invaluable. They are learning competitiveness, a sense of ownership, structure and are exposed to a diverse group of people. When you expose kids to healthy habits early on, those habits tend to stick with them.” Tankia added, “We are at the downtown YMCA two to three nights a week. The YMCA is really my kids’ home away from home.”