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A Story of Impact: Glowing with Joy in the Outdoors


I just received an impact letter from a teacher at one of our schools in Sacramento that receives financial assistance from us at Point Bonita YMCA to help make field trips to our location possible. 

Thank you to everyone who made this a reality for these students!

Dear Point Bonita YMCA:

"I am writing to thank you for your generous support towards our June 2017 outdoor education trip. Without your financial assistance, it would have been impossible for my students to have this extraordinary experience.

The outdoor education program at Point Bonita is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of my students. To be brutally honest, for some of them, this trip just might be the highlight of their entire lives.

One of my favorite memories from this year's trip was the transformation I witnessed in one of my girls. This student had struggled with behavior problems and depression throughout the entire school year. She had basically checked-out from school, spending most of her time in class with her hood on and her head down. Every possible intervention had failed to make a difference.

What happened when she arrived at Point Bonita was no less than miraculous. From the time we got off the bus, she started glowing with joy. When I first noticed this change, I made a point of observing her regularly because I just couldn't believe my eyes. But the change was real. Every time I saw her for the next three days, she was smiling, laughing, socializing with others, and simply basking in natural beauty of the Marin Headlands.

If she had been the only student impacted in this way, the trip already would have been worth it. I know for a fact, however, that every one of my students who has visited Point Bonita returned with their own story of personal transformation.

My students' time at Point Bonita YMCA is a peaceful oasis in the midst of an often turbulent journey. Daily life here in South Sacramento can be scary and ugly. Homelessness, human trafficking, drug abuse, and gang violence are ubiquitous. Many students and their families live with the constant fear of being deported or not making the monthly rent. Point Bonita gives my students a powerful base of beautiful memories to cling to when times get especially tough.

Even more importantly, it gives them hope of a better future and something to dream for.

The work that you do at Point Bonita is truly life-changing. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for my students."


Michael O.
Ethel I. Baker Elementary School