The Jamestown YMCA has literally been a second home to Alan Scott, a Y member who has been on the scholarship program since age 15. Now 25, Scott has a lot of memories of true friendships and camaraderie during the past years.
He hung out in the Teen Center and has always had a passion for playing basketball and working out every day the Y was open to become stronger. Scott also enjoys getting massages.
Scott, who was born with cerebral palsy, did not always have it easy growing up. Since he attended grade school at Rogers and Washington schools and then graduated from Jamestown High School in 2006, he was often looked upon differently, but this did not deter him from living a fulfilling life.
Alan Scott increases his strength using the seated row machine at the Jamestown YMCA.
Alan Scott, YMCA member, is surrounded by some of his closest staff friends at the Jamestown YMCA. Pictured from left are Becky DeMarco, Kathy Fischer, Connie Myers, Scott, Donna Jackson, Mark Eckendorf and Lori Strickland.
"Some people picked on me at school and made fun of me all the time, which I did not feel good about," Scott said. "They would tease me about my stutter and how I walked even when I minded my own business."
Because of his cerebral palsy, he has underwent multiple operations during the years, including brain surgery to alleviate fluid around the brain, surgeries on both legs causing him to use a wheelchair and walker, wrist surgery, and having his right hand fused.
Scott also has rickets which is a condition causing softening of his bones due to protein deficiency, which leads to possible fractures and deformity.
Scott appreciated the help he received from his principals, teachers, classmates and YMCA friends that stuck up for him, which eventually made most of the harassment end.
"I wish people would stop picking on me or others and realize that everyone should be treated with respect," said Scott. "It is unfair and not nice to make fun of people no matter what situation they are in."
When he walks into the Y, Scott appreciates how welcomed he feels and knows that he is going to receive a lot of "hi's" and "how are you's" from everyone.
"Whenever I am at the Y, I feel good about myself, stronger and able to do things I was not able to do in the past," said Scott. "I have established a core group of friends here and definitely feel comfortable at the Y."
Most of Scott's friends know him because of his deep admiration toward the Cleveland Browns. He can usually be caught wearing some type of brown and orange hat or shirt during his workouts.
James and Lori Johnson of Jamestown are Scott's parents who also have another son, Brandon Scott, who lives in Miami.
Mrs. Johnson takes their son to Cleveland Browns games twice a year, which is exciting for Scott.
"My parents are proud of me," said Scott. "They are happy that I am working out every day and have a great place like the YMCA where I can meet new people. I would be home a lot more doing nothing if I did not have the Y here."
In the future, Scott would like to attend college to pursue sports broadcasting and writing.