[The following was contributed by Keith Washington, CYT Inc. Board Member]
As a parent, MBA, and entrepreneur, I wanted to make sure my kids had the opportunity to maximize on their after school time. My three kids were interested in sports, games, and music so they explored baseball, soccer, tennis, swim team, and piano over the years. They were active in all, but not really passionate about any of these activities. Then my daughter, the eldest of the three, discovered musical theater. It became her passion and my family team sport. Through our church, we were introduced to some people who were starting a new youth theater in Atlanta called CYT. We attended an open house and my daughter wanted to be part of it.
No one in our family had any background or experience in the arts. We wanted to support my daughter, but were not sure we had any talent or skills to be much help at CYT. Many of the charter families seemed to have prior experience and a few had even been part of CYT San Diego with a very professional approach in bringing the new theater program to Atlanta. There were so many talented kids and committed parents, we found the environment both irresistible and intimidating.
We were way out of our comfort zone, but we could see God’s grace through the leaders that He provided in CYT Atlanta. The tagline “Building character, one stage at a time” became a lifestyle for our family. My wife found a new passion for working backstage with the kids and became a regular doing hair and makeup and costumes. I wanted to make sure we were doing the wise thing, so I charted the options of past, present, and future ways that our kids could spend their after school hours. The quadrant chart below is the result of my research over many years of guess and check on this topic.
Now that we were convinced of this awesome program, it was time to act. We were so proud of what God was doing through CYT, we could not wait to invite all of our friends and family to witness the miracle of a CYT show. We shared countless hours of quality time with fellow CYT families during planning, preparation, and production. And our family learned what building character one stage at a time looks like in practice through amazing leaders that shared their time, talents, and financial resources.
We are all so blessed to worship an amazing God through CYT. I encourage each of you to analyze for yourself what an amazing opportunity we have to share the CYT experience and to continue to provide opportunities for kids and families to share in fun and faith that’s off the chart.