Thrive Thursday: Brightening Futures in Education with the Central Florida YMCA
Throughout the year, I have the pleasure of highlighting the incredible stories of our hotels and their local community initiatives. These stories are discovered and enhanced through our unique philanthropy program – Hyatt Community Grants. Established in 2008, this annual micro-grant program empowers our colleagues worldwide to nominate local nonprofits for $5,000 to $20,000 grants.
One of my favorite stories from this year’s grant winners involves Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport and its partnership with the Central Florida YMCA. Together, these two teams are helping children like Nomar succeed and thrive in a supportive summer learning program. More than 10 years ago, the hotel “adopted” McCoy Elementary, and through this partnership, learned about the YMCA’s after school program and its life changing work to improve the educational outcome of students like Nomar. After seeing the impact, the hotel awarded the YMCA with a Hyatt Community Grant to fund further programming at its partner school, McCoy.
“Every day when we pick him up from extended day, Nomar is just the happiest kid you have ever seen. We are limited in the tools we have at our disposal to help raise him, but the YMCA’s after-school program is by far the best and most effective that we have come across.”
These are the words of Nomar’s parents who were desperate to find the right educational fit for their five-year-old son. Nomar was eager to learn, but lacked the confidence to do so. Unfortunately, that is the case for many of families with children at McCoy Elementary School. Nomar is the face of a community plagued by single-parent households, often working multiple jobs, struggling to put food on the table and find affordable, quality childcare. The Y of Central Florida knows how vital it is to catch students early in their careers in order to make an impact. For many like Nomar, the McCoy after school and summer learning program is their educational foundation and safety net in the community.
Once shy and struggling in school, Nomar has blossomed into a confident leader and class helper. Now Nomar and his parents are happy and excited about his future in education; and the team at Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport is proud to have played a small part in his success.
For more stories like this one, visit our Hyatt Thrive Tumblr.