Logan Pursel (Fryer) realized he needed to straighten up and change some things in his life after he was involved in an incident during a youth dance at the YMCA last fall. Logan, 13, also had gotten into some trouble at school and in the community and was feeling pretty down on himself.
"When he was diagnosed with ADHD, the doctor told us that he should be involved in activities that provide a constructive outlet," explained Logan's mom, Deb. "He now does more at school and church, but the 'Y' really gives him a place to get it all - sports activities, social time with his friends and adults who care about him that he can talk to. The staff at the 'Y' knows how to constructively tell him to correct his behavior when he acts out. It's part of our support system and a positive place for him."
With the support of his family, the church, his school, and the Jersey Shore Branch YMCA staff, his perception of life and how he acts around others has now changed and Logan has gone through what staff at the YMCA calls "a metamorphosis" in the past year.
Logan Pursel (Fryer), right, and his mother, Deb Fryer, at the Jersey Shore Branch YMCA.
"I realized that some things needed to change and that I needed to adjust my attitude. I looked into myself and learned how to be a better person," Logan said proudly.
Logan is a youth member at the Jersey Shore Branch YMCA and a participant in the Brick House After-School Program, funded by Lycoming County United Way.
"After school at the YMCA, we play sports or listen to music," Logan said. "The YMCA gives me a place to go after school and keeps me out of trouble. I enjoy socializing with friends during the Brick House program and getting mentoring and tutoring from staff members."
When Logan is not engaged in activities at the YMCA, he enjoys volunteering. According to the Jersey Shore Branch YMCA Executive Director Elisabeth Miranda, "He hopes to help other kids struggling and I think he would be a great mentor to those younger than him."
"I have been there and I have a lot to offer," Logan added.
"I look forward to Logan's arrival every day. I know we can count on him to help out, get ready for events, or to give us a laugh in the afternoons," Miranda said. "He's a great kid who has come a long way in a short time. We are very proud of him. He's gone from being resentful and distrustful of authority to warmly greeting me each day and asking how he can help. I know we have made a difference in his life and he has made a difference in ours too."
Logan would like to be a professional soccer player or a police officer when he gets older. He is very close with his mom, step dad, James, and two sisters. He relied on them heavily to help him change the way he approached situations. Logan said his mom has given him guidance and positive support among many other things and his sisters, Amber and Tawney, help him "keep his attitude right," Logan said.
Deb said that the YMCA's generous scholarship program, funded by Lycoming County United Way, has allowed their family to be part of something that they might not otherwise be able to afford. "It's great that the YMCA offers the Brick House program free to teens afterschool. Logan needs the structure and variety of activities. We feel that the 'Y' has been a stepping stone for him in learning what is right. The program gives him a place to belong and he has made a lot of friends."
For more information on Brick House at Jersey Shore Branch YMCA, visit www.jerseyshorepaymca.org or call 398-2150. For more information on Lycoming County United Way or to support the campaign that funds programs like this, visit www.lcuw.org or call 323-9448.