SAN ANGELO, TX — Her youngest child is 7, her oldest 28, and Adrienne Penha, a mother of 9 kids, has taken on the task of homeschooling all her children.
"When we first came we had 2 children, now we have 9 all here," said Penha.
At one point 3 of Penha's boys started playing football, but one thing her homeschooling program lacked was an opportunity for her kids to play sports.
"My first 2 were very artistic and music inclined, and then the next 6 really are all about sports,” said Penha.
Penha says affording a gym membership for her 9 kids was well beyond reach at that point. That's where the San Angelo YMCA came in.
"It made us just be able to," said Penha.
The Y's scholarship fund provided the Penha family the possibility to pursue physical activity beyond the walls of their home.
"Just basic weight training and weight lifting, strengthening building that kind of thing, cardio of course,” said Penha.
She says without the scholarship her family might not be the same today.
"I had one child, the one who plays basketball, had got a tumor and we looked into rehab and there wasn’t a big facility here that we could find that would do swimming for him,” said Penha. “So I talked to the aquatics director here and he said he could do like a swim club for us so we started like homeschool swim club doing just some rehabilitation in the water for his leg so he wouldn’t get behind on the court."
One of her children has enjoyed the YMCA so much,
"It gives us a chance to do what we love doing playing sports," said Kobe Penha.
He's become a part of the staff.
"I train at the YMCA, I swim I teach swim lessons, and I life guard and then also just play basketball here," said Penha.
She says her children have varied interests.
"While others are swimming, some are doing cardio some are doing basketball,” said Penha.
And her family found a haven in the heart of San Angelo that saw a family in need, and helped.
"This little town here, I’m so so thankful I got to raise our family here I really am," said Penha.