As her mom Jennifer Record describes her, 7-year old Joy was once a very shy little girl who struggled in school with her reading. Last summer, a recommendation from school led Joy to the local YMCA summer reading program.

Finding this program did much more than help Joy improve her reading skills. Involvement in the Tampa, Florida Y gave her courage to come out of her shell and to let people know about the hardship that she, her mom, and brother, were facing.

Joy confided to Y staff that her family had a roof over their heads, but no electricity, water or food. Fearful of losing her children, Jennifer had kept their struggles secret. In no time, Y volunteers were providing provisions, working on getting electricity, and opening doors for Jennifer to get the help she and her family needed.

After watching the above video, it is hard to believe Joy was ever a shy child. Today, her confidence is contagious. She loves reading and writing, and regularly reads books to her brother.

See more stories of people who have overcome obstacles at the YMCA website.

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