Y Story - Kayi

Kay Okine a member of the YMCA Gymcats a Gymnastics program at the Oscar Lasko YMCA in West Chester, PA

Kayi Okine grew up at the Y. She and her siblings attended Y childcare and spent their summers at Y camp. That’s where she discovered gymnastics.

But, it wasn’t until she was 13 that Kayi joined the Gymcats – the YMCA of Greater Brandywine's gymnastics team. “I was by far the oldest in my class, but I wanted no more than to learn to flip, twist and fly like the girls I saw on TV,” said Kayi.

Kayi persevered and practiced with support from her coaches and her team. Along the way, she learned more than mastering a kip or sticking a beam dismount.

 A LARGE PART OF MY LOVE FOR GYMNASTICS CAME FROM THE DIVERSE GROUP OF GIRLS I SPENT MY DAYS WITH. WE REPRESENTED AN ENORMOUS RANGE OF VIEWPOINTS AND VOICED THEM FREELY, ALWAYS REMAINING AS SUPPORTIVE AND TIGHTLY KNIT AS EVER. THESE CONVERSATIONS HELPED ME GROW AS A PERSON.  

When it came time to apply for college, Kayi’s teammates gave her the support to apply to some of the nation’s top universities, including Harvard. “My coaches and teammates taught me to have the confidence that you can do anything you put your mind to and to just go for it.”

Kayi is now in her freshman year at Harvard University and plans a career in bio research. “My teammates taught me how beautiful the world can be, and I have them to thank for the amazing opportunities that are opening for me.”

Category: Y Stories