YMCA staff members impact the lives of members, fellow staff and those in our community each and every day. They do have job titles, but are so much more! The Indian Valley Family YMCA Staff team will be sharing “What I Really Do” in a weekly series.
Week 2: Jesse F
MY JOB TITLE SAYS:
Personal Trainer. Ready to Be Fit Coach. LiveSTRONG trainer, TRX Instructor, Wellness Attendant.
BUT WHAT I REALLY AM IS A:
A source of guidance
Every day that I work I am given a chance to help someone. As simple as that may seem, I have never felt so relevant in both my life and in the lives of others. That’s a pretty cool feeling!
Jesse is a dedicated and hardworking member of our Wellness team in Ellington!!
First Day of Camp-Monday, June 24
When Andrew, Midori and Aidan ate breakfast today they probably felt like they had also ingested those “Proverbial” butterflies. Their stomachs felt the flutter of anticipation because today was going to be their “FIRST DAY OF CAMP EVER“!
This afternoon when I sat with the Day Camp kids, I started to ask Midori how she liked Camp. “What was the best part of today?”, I asked. Midori responded, “Crafts! Look what I made. It’s a house with Pom Poms!” I could clearly see the glitter AND wide smile on her face! She had a great day first day. I then talked with Andrew. Andrew went to Camp Yankee Trails and was waiting in the Y’s Sunset program for mom. Andrew shared, “I LOVED going swimming!! It was so fun in the pond!” At no more than 6, he was quite comfortable sharing his swimming experiences with me. As I was finishing with Andrew, a hand flew up and asked, “Can I tell you?” After sharing my name, Aidan shared his. “I’m Aidan. I stayed here ( Camp Indian Valley) and I had fun swimming, too”, he assured me. All three kids had their first day of Camp ever and could have shared so much more with me if they only had the chance…. I had to turn my attention to the line of other campers who wanted to share their day.
I still remember my first day of Day camp 40+ years ago… it was a YMCA Camp… Camp Massaco in Simsbury, CT. We all have that first day memory … and that feeling of butterflies. When Andrew, Midori and Aidan have breakfast tomorrow it probably will just be the banana or cereal they feel in their stomach!
~Lisa Reinhardt 1 Year- Day Camper 8 years- Resident camper, 2 years-CIT and 3 years-Camp counselor and parent of Y campers!
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is the proverbial phrase used to inspire someone to make something good out of a bad situation. I know from experience that it takes a can-do attitude and some ingenuity. Today Christian Gervin, a Y member, used his can-do attitude and skill to take the bitter out of a challenging situation!
Today 18 or so children arrived to the Y with their water bottles and lots of energy ready to take the Friday Tween Fit class and found that they were missing their instructor. Due to a miscommunication with a planned substitute and lack of instructors in the building, a solution needed to be found…
Immediately, Christian, who is dad to one of the kids, offered to the Y staff, “I can help run the class!” “I can do some Plyometrics with the kids!” he added. Without missing a beat, Christian loaded up some music and happily led this exuberant group of kids through a fun workout. With some shuffling of staff, another wellness staff person was able to help Christian with this “sweet” solution.
The Y is family made up of staff, volunteers, members and community partners. Christian’s action defines family helping family.
Christian, thank you for making lemonade for everyone to enjoy!
Most adults would agree that Friday is one of the best days of the week!
Some of our Y kids would agree, too… because they got to spend Friday at the Y AND more importantly with someone who is a CARING ADULT!
a beaming Dad admiring at his 3 year old daughter’s artwork at the Y Art Show.
a dedicated and spirited Y staff person inspiring kids to express themselves in a new dance program.
a seasoned child care staff person sharing their Friday night making crafts with kids in the “Kids Night out” program.
These caring adults are making the Y a great place to be a kid on a Friday night.
I bet if asked though, these caring adults would say they’re the lucky ones.
You know that moment when someone just puts it out there for you. That happened to me a few weeks back.
Joanne, a fellow YMCA Child Care team member stopped by to see me and made me an offer I could not refuse. She asked, “I wanted to know if you wanted to join me and some other staff on Mondays. We are going to help each other with our weight.”
BAM! There it was right in front of me. The fact that I have 70+ pounds to lose, was not the “news”. It was that the offer was made– and it was one I really did not want to refuse. I often worry about taking care of others and don’t prioritize my own care… it was time to be part of a smaller community of support which I needed.
Fast forward to today. During the past few weeks there has been check in calls, new friends made in Aqua Zumba, accountability, a new found appreciation for each other and support! Joanne has been the key relationship builder in this process- even asking members to join our special network. One night after class, Joanne introduced herself to member Debbie and now Debbie gets a call from Joanne.
I absolutely believe in a community of support and know the YMCA is the best community in which to give AND receive it. I wouldn’t work for the Y and ask people join this community if I didn’t believe. I just have to remember or be reminded (Thanks, Joanne!) that the same great programs, services, staff and culture are here for me, too.
YMCA Staff members are impacted by members every day! Recently staff Massage Therapist, Pam Howe received a “touching” response to her work and learned the impact she had made on a member!
Pam posted this to her FACEBOOK page when she got home from working with her last client of the evening:
…my last client tonight grabbed my hands and said to me “your hands are truly a gift”..makes me so happy and proud to do something that makes people feel so wonderful!! 🙂
Great job, Pam- the power of your touch is felt by so many!
Sr. Director, Membership/Marketing
Indian Valley Family YMCA
From Welcome Center Representative, Rachel:
While working at my other part-time job, I overheard two women talking about the Indian Valley Family YMCA and how the Ready to Be Fit Program had changed the life of one of the women. She continued telling her friend how much she loved going to the Y, how she has lost so much weight using the Ready to Be Fit Program, as well as how easy the program was to use. She invited her friend to come to the Y and check it out.
I felt proud to work at the Y where lives are being changed. I hope I am the one who gets to take this friend on a tour.
~Rachel Korzeb, Welcome Center Representative- Indian Valley Family YMCA
When Tiffany Ayala is at the welcome center, her sincerity and spirit welcome all who enter. Add those qualities to her ability to make those who feel more comfortable speaking spanish feel welcomed en español…WOW!
When I hired Tiffany I noted her ability to speak Spanish on her application. I asked Tiffany if she would mind speaking Spanish when it would be better for the member. She was happy to do so and even created a sign in spanish that she puts out at the welcome center during her shifts!
Her sign has helped spark several new conversations and most recently, set the stage for a full tour in Spanish! Spanish is not her first language, but her excellence in membership care puts the members first! ¡Gracias! Tiffany!