YMCA Branch Name

For Youth Development
For Healthy Living
For Social Development

Rylee Bentz had tried swim lessons before, making slight gains each time, but experienced anxiety and panic. Each week she would have anxiety and cry about the dread of returning the next week to face her fear of swimming in deeper water. Rylee would have stomach aches, not sleep, cry, and stress out when the mention of lessons came up. It was horrible for her, and hard on her mom, but this was a skill mom wanted Rylee to have.

Then came the powerful partnership of Collette and Rylee at the Kearney Family YMCA. Rylee’s mother and grandmother decided to sign Rylee up for private swim lessons to find her a mentor she could gain trust with and find the confidence to get in the pool without the anxiety like before. At her first lesson, Collette started on the ramp and did not rush Rylee. They worked slowly and at Rylee’s comfort level. Rylee liked this. After her first few lessons, Rylee’s mom noticed she would smile the ENTIRE time, no crying like before. The progress she had made in just a few lessons has made her family so proud! Rylee has really learned to trust Collette, partly because “she looks like Penny off the show The Big Bang Theory.” After her first round of lessons Rylee asked her Grandma to get her more lessons with Collette for her Birthday. YES, this is what she had wanted for a Birthday present this year, more lessons with Collette at the Y.

 A few months later Rylee was ready for more lessons, although this time Collette was no longer working at the Kearney Family YMCA. She had accepted a full time job after graduating college. Mom wanted to proceed and find another instructor for Rylee. When told she was starting lessons again with a new instructor, Rylee started to show her anxiety and tear up again.

 As fate may have it, the Y Aquatics Manager ran into Collette at lunch that week and they began to talk. When Rylee’s name came up, Collette jumped at the opportunity to come back to the Y and teach private lessons in her free evenings. We set up the schedule for them, and when Rylee’s mom informed her of the good news, she wiped her eyes and nodded and said “I feel safe with her.” The powerful duo is back in the water and making improvements everyday!

 Since starting private swimming lessons at the Y in June 2012, Rylee Bentz has become stronger and more confident than ever. She is growing both in the pool and out, overcoming her fears and impressing her family each day.

For more information on Kearney Family Y swim lessons, please contact Pamela Little at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Y is committed to providing programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all. We make every effort to ensure that no one is turned away due to inability to pay. Click to read more about our financial assistance.