The Story

In the year 2000, Margareth moved to the United States from Africa. In 2001, Gloria was born, and since then Margareth, a single mother, has been raising and encouraging her to be the best that she can be. Despite the support, Gloria was a shy girl and with low self-esteem.


Three years ago, with assistance from the North Oakland YMCA and help also from Pontiac Youth Assistance, mom and daughter became members of the North Oakland YMCA, and Gloria showed interest in swim lessons.


Gloria attended swim lessons and worked hard to become a proficient swimmer. She became eligible to swim on the North Oakland Waves (NOW) swim team in the in the Blue Group. With a Margareth trying to finish a college degree family finances would not allow for that dream to happen. In the fall of 2015, North Oakland YMCA made the decision to provide a full scholarship for Gloria to become a member of the swim team. Gloria and her mom were speechless and grateful beyond words.


Margareth shared the following about the progress Gloria has made and how important their time at the YMCA has been:


‘Gloria has made such great progress, and her self-esteem has soared. She has excelled in her school work, and is an A student at West Bloomfield High School. Gloria has become eligible for a youth leadership program sponsored and funded through Tim Hortons, in which selected students participate in leadership skill building programs in locations such as Nova Scotia. Gloria is also involved in “AVID,” a West Bloomfield Schools special preparatory program for students. Gloria’s goal: to become a pediatric physician.Before coming to the YMCA, Gloria was so shy she could hardly lift her head up to speak to anyone. The YMCA brought her out of her shell, and made her believe in herself and her abilities.Without assistance, we would not have been able to do any of this! Gloria feels loved because of the support we have received.’

North Oakland YMCA is proud to have had at least a small role in helping to influence this young lady’s life and future.