It’s been about 13 years since Dominique Dunn was first introduced to the Y. His mother, Natalie—who comes from a family of athletes—signed him up for the Y’s Youth Basketball League to coincide with Dominique’s growing love for basketball. From then on, the Y was Dominique’s palace—where he would spend each Saturday at open gym, playing the game he loved, fostering relationships and receiving mentorship from staff.
“I met a lot of my friends that I’m close with today,” Dominique said. “Ever since, we’d all come here on the weekends and just shoot around. We’d be here for hours. [Associate Executive Director Maurice Fears] would work with us, help us shoot. Then I kept coming here through high school.”
As a junior, Dominique joined the Central City YMCA’s Teen Achievers Program, where he says he had memorable experiences taking trips out of state, visiting universities in Washington D.C. and Tennessee.
Focused on serving students attending schools on the east side of Joliet, the Central City YMCA (CCY) and its programs have impacted countless lives. With the help of the Greater Area Joliet YMCA’s Scholarship Fund, CCY participants have opportunities to play basketball and learn how to swim as children, as well as the chance to set and achieve high education, professional and personal goals within the Teen Achievers Program as teenagers—all at little or no cost.