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YMCA of Central Stark County

To put Christian Principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.



In life we will always have hurdles to overcome, as an adult this is something that we understand not so much for our children. You see my son had to repeat the first grade this year and he was having a difficult time with this because his friends were moving on, while others were making fun of him. 

At the first conference, nine weeks in, my son told his teacher he was hoping he could earn the Character Champion Award. She responded by encouraging him to “keep up the good work.” She had confided in me that she had already submitted his name for the award.  Later that week, the Principal announced the winners, and upon hearing his name announced, he started jumping up and down and proceeded to go up and down the aisle where all of his class mates gave him a high five! His Character Champ picture reflected the biggest smile I have ever seen, and every time I was at the school he walked me to the bulletin board to show me.

I was so proud of him, not because he won, but because I knew that others can now see what I see every day, a really genuine kid that cares about others before himself. The Character Champ award provided my son with the opportunity to look at his challenging new year with a renewed hope and a strengthened self-esteem and for that I am thankful.