A young father was able to go to school to obtain his degree because of the support of YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign funds that provided affordable childcare for his son – giving them both a chance at getting ahead in life.
“As a young single dad and co-parent of my son Demetri, I have experienced firsthand how expensive life can be, and the many roadblocks that stand in the way of furthering ones education,” says Nick Walls. “Without a degree nowadays it can be extremely difficult to find sustaining employment that will enable me to take care of my family’s needs.”
With 142,000 children living in poverty throughout the province, and approximately 17.5 per cent of kids under the age of 6 living in low-income households in the Central Okanagan, it is clear that people struggle with the cost of raising a family. Child care fees are at an all-time high with costs often amounting to half of a single income earner’s daily wage.
“Many young parents cannot afford to continue their education because they have a child,” says Nick. However he explains that as a single dad, though he and Demetri’s mother work well together co-parenting, it is so important that he gains an education to support Demetri’s growth and his future which would not have been possible without the generous donors to the YMCAs Strong Kids Campaign.
“Prior to YMCA’s Little Scholars Child Care, Demetri was taken care of by friends and family and the majority of his socialization was with adults,” explained Nick. “It took time for Demetri to get used to functioning within groups of kids his own age, but the positive interactions with others taught him impulse and emotional control and improved his speech and communication since he struggled with stuttering and expressing his feelings. He made friends and learned discipline, routine, and independence. I owe the YMCA a lot and would recommend Little Scholars to anyone.”
Demetri is 5 now and has transitioned well into kindergarten. Nick plans to enroll Demetri in the Y’s summer camps so he can work to save for his last year of school.
To learn more or to donate to YMCA Strong Kids please visit www.ymcaokanagan.ca/strongkidscampaign/.