Student participating in NTI coursework 1-12-22

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The YMCA is known for helping out with child care, and with the recent onset of NTI, that's no different. Now, one Louisville YMCA is opening its doors to expand its outreach.

Demetrius McDowell, founder of the youth group "Bosses not Bangers" is running his own free NTI child care this week using space at the Chestnut Street Family YMCA, a big relief for parents who didn't have any options.

"We are living check to check out here, some of us," McDowell said. "And definitely, that eight hours or 12 hours that they would have to call in or make arrangements ... I appreciated that I was able to team up with the YMCA and make it happen to help them out." 

NTI is new for McDowell. But helping youth is part of the Bosses Not Bangers mission to build a better community.

"Being able to do one thing in stopping gun violence and dealing with education — it all coexists together," he said. "Because if you start off young — get a hold of them — maybe you can be a mediator later when they start to venture off into what's going on out here in these streets... being able to have an influence and stopping somebody from going down the wrong path." 

The Chestnut Street YMCA has its own child care NTI program and by now is well-versed in helping monitor kids through everything from math to virtual PE courses.

"Anything that we can do for our families, we're just thankful and grateful to have the opportunity to do that," said Colita Reeves, programming director and assistant child care director at the Chestnut Street YMCA.

Reeves said they have about 80 kids in their care for NTI this week, the same kids who are enrolled in their before- and after-school program currently. She said she's glad to know their community partner is stepping up to help, too.

"Every child may not be a part of the YMCA," Reeves said. "So to have another program take part in that and to offer services for children in the community that may not have the opportunity to come to the Y — that's exceptional." 

It's exceptional work that provides safe spaces for kids to learn, something McDowell hopes can create a far-reaching impact.

"I want to infect positivity into the neighborhood so they're able to spread it throughout the neighborhood," McDowell said.

McDowell is helping as many kids as one person can and is unable to take on any more. Though, if Jefferson County Public Schools uses NTI again in the future, he plans to offer this service again to as many families as he can. 

Reeves said parents can sign up for YMCA services any time of the year. In some cases, the YMCA can work with families who may be unable to afford registration. She said they do have spots available for their school-age child care program. Parents can call 502-587-7405 to sign up. 

To see all of the Greater Louisville YMCA child care sites available and to learn more about the program, click here.

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