There are those who step up to make the community a safe place to live, and those who want others to do the heavy lifting.
It’s the people who are stepping in, helping the youth and providing them healthy outlets who make the Lower Yakima Valley a great place to live.
There is Cruz Ramos’ Dungeon Boxing, Daniel and Monica Guillen’s Little Grapplers and now, the Valley Performing Arts Center opened by Erin Martin and Libby Martin.
These groups offer opportunities to younger children in the community, children who are too young to take part in athletic programs at their schools.
Not every child enjoys athletics, so the Valley Performing Arts Center is a great alternative for them to express themselves.
All three groups do their best to make the activities affordable to all, as well.
This is a community filled with families living at or below the poverty line. Not all families in the community can afford the fees associated with participating activities such as AAU sports.
Those programs often require travel, and not all parents can afford to attend an elite tournament, either.
So, having alternatives, giving youngsters something “to do,” is important.
There are a lot of talented athletes in the community, some of whom may not realize their potential until they can take part in programs that are free or affordable.
There are also a lot of youngsters who are more artistic and creative.
It is only through programs like the non-profit groups that these children might learn to appreciate their talents a little sooner.
The programs don’t just emphasize talent, but an appreciation for individuality, acceptance and confidence.
For adults looking to make a difference in the lives of the children in the community, these groups may also provide an outlet for you.