From Shyness To Happiness

Seven-year old Fenton Harley was a shy kid growing up in Jamestown. That was until he became a Jamestown YMCA member and attended summer day camp for the past three years.

“Being an only child, Fenton had little opportunity for interaction with other children his age,” said mother Jessica Martinelli.

When he found himself in situations that were new to him, his typical reaction was to shy away and cry.

By attending the summer day camp through the Y’s scholarship program, things changed for the positive for Fenton. Not only did he begin to make new friends and participate in small group activities, he also learned about water safety and not to be afraid to put his face in the water.

“He was so afraid of the water and getting his face wet, even at home,” Martinelli said. “Because of the Y, Fenton can now swim with his face in the water and especially loves doing cannon balls.”

He has also grown as an individual by learning new things, being encouraged by others, appreciating diversity and understanding healthy living.

Fenton’s love for camp and his new outlook on life has transcended to his time at home, school and in the community. He has even been a participant in the Spring Break holiday day camp at the Y earlier this month.

“I cannot express the love I have for the Y and the appreciation for the scholarship provided to my son,” Martinelli said. “I would not have been able to send Fenton to camp without this assistance – so thank you.”

For more information about donating to the Jamestown Area YMCA’s annual giving campaign, visit or call 664-2802, ext. 236.