Kat & Fisher Hardt

Fisher HardtLife happens and changes occur. Katherine (Kat) Hardt of Escanaba can attest to that. A few years ago she found herself back at home challenged with the role of a single Mom and heading back to school to get her Nursing degree at Bay College. But she had two problems: going to Nursing school and raising two boys left her with little time and even less money. Enter the YMCA.

Kat enrolled her youngest, Fisher at age   2 ½, into the YMCA Childcare Program and obtained a membership for her older son Lucas so he could play basketball. Kat relates: “I didn’t think I could afford it, but then I learned about the financial assistance opportunities.” The YMCA provided financial assistance for both the childcare and the membership. Then she started on her new journey…getting her Nursing degree.

Completing the program wasn’t easy but she worked hard. “I made many sacrifices to complete the program-the biggest being unable to spend a lot of time with my kids. The Y filled that gap for me and provided what I feel is a second family and a second home for my children. The Y is a safe place that nurtured my boys and fostered their growth. I can’t describe in words what that means to a single Mom.”

Kat proved she was worthy of both the challenge and the opportunities given her, she graduated this past May with her degree in nursing and will soon take her board exams.

Out of all her challenges she has developed a great outlook that simply put is to “Be honest and stay positive. Live that way too! And give back-life is a gift!”

Kat encourages everyone she knows with kids to join the Y stating: “It takes a village to raise children…the Y is that village.”