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Y Stories

Y Stories

Because of generous donors, the YMCA of Austin is able to have a profound impact on the community. People of all walks of life are able to walk through our doors regardless of their financial situation and find ways to better themselves and their families.

Below is just a sampling of the impact the YMCA has on its members and program participants in Travis, Hays and Bastrop counties. 

Special Needs /Adaptive Programs

Joe Fischer was an active, healthy young man until an accident paralyzed him from the waist down. Instead of wallowing in it, he uses his energy and passion to help kids get exercise while learning people with special needs.

Healthy Living Programs

Russell Scott spent years becoming one of the best cyclists in America. After a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, Russell realized his life would be forever altered, but he didn't let that affect his passion for pushing himself as hard as he can..


Two brain surgeries to remove tumors left Roger Mommaerts with some loss of movement on his right side. It took a while to work up the nerve, but starting, and completing, the 12-week LiveSTRONG at the YMCA program and working with a personal trainer at the Hays Communities YMCA has reinvigorated Roger and led to a new-found hobby - rowing.

Youth Development Programs

Elvia Hernandez has gone from sneaking into Ys as a child due to lack of money to giving back part of the money she now makes as an employee of the Southwest Family YMCA in hopes of giving kids like her opportunities she never had.

Youth & Government

Del Valle HS senior Jacob Shaw has gained valuable real-world experience through the YMCA Youth & Government program. His success has only strengthened his desire to pursue a judicial or political career after high school.

Healthy Living Programs

Andrea Crouch is relatively new to Bastrop, and she's excited about the future of the city's "Y without walls". She donates to the YMCA of Austin with visions of families living active, healthy lives in a big new facility in Bastrop.

Active Older Adult Programs

83-year-old Barbara Levitan can go up to 18 group exercise classes per week at the Springs Family YMCA. Her commitment to morning exercise gives her the energy she needs throughout the day to continue her passions, creating art and jewelry, in the afternoon.

Nutrition Education Programs

Lisa is a mother of four and a physical therapist. She knows better than most the importance of eating healthy and what kind of effects poor eating can have on the body as we age.

Diabetes Prevention Program

Dana Jones went to the doctor for a normal checkup when he was told his cholesterol and triglycerides numbers were so bad he could die at any moment. He was pointed to the YMCA of Austin's Diabetes Prevention program and has since lost 30 pounds and found new energy with his kids and at work.

Social Responsibility Programs

Ken Gladish, the former CEO of Y-USA, enjoys giving back to his local YMCA in Austin. His strong relationship with the association only furthers his desire to give back and give the youth of Central Texas a place to grow and thrive.

Educational Enrichment Programs

YMCA of Austin Program Services staffer Ishmael Behrhorst gladly gives back to the YMCA thanks to his unique position of helping families find ways to afford various programs aimed at youth development and educational enrichment.

Active Older Adult Programs

Donna Haschke joined the YMCA after her doctor told her to look into water aerobics to help with a knee replacement. A few years later she's one of its biggest advocates because of the community within the walls of the Hays Communities YMCA.

More stories coming soon!