City of Kennewick offers Financial Assistance Program for youth - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City of Kennewick offers Financial Assistance Program for youth activities

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KENNEWICK, WA - Some families in Kennewick could be missing out on a program that would make your lives a little easier. It's the city's Parks and Recreation Financial Youth Assistance Program. Kids can do things like swimming, sports, martial arts, and archery for free or very discounted prices. 

"I was one of those kids. Single mom, mother of eight. So I am passionate about this program," said Isa Quintanilla of Kennewick Parks and Rec. 

Through a federal Housing and Urban Development block grant, she gets to go through applications and offer some families a break on their bills. For some families, city activities can be too much for the budget. 

"Okay, it's going to be $88 for swimming lessons for two sessions. I'm like, oh my gosh, that's a lot. But because we qualified for the financial assistance program, I didn't have to pay anything," said Jennifer Ayala. 

Ayala has two boys. At first she didn't think they would qualify. Her family doesn't get food stamps or any other state assistance.

"I figured, I'm going to apply but I probably won't qualify for this either. But when I applied, we did qualify and I was like, really? This is awesome,' said Ayala.

"It's kind of hard already, financially, with having to pay bills and then having to pay for that also, it's expensive," said another mother of two, Laura Mendoza.

Mendoza is also a nursing student who works, as well. Her boys took part in free swimming lessons and also learned to play basketball.

"For the months of May through August, I like to call that our Superbowl brochure. Kids are out of school, we want to keep them busy," said Quintanilla.

Applications for the program can be found here or picked up at the Southridge Sports and Events Center, 2901 Southridge Blvd., Building #A (inside the Pavilion). You will need proof that you live in Kennewick, a copy of last year's income tax returns with W-2's and photo ID.