“I’ve been working here for about two years and I’ve worked for other Ys previously. I grew up in a lake community and was always swimming as a kid. I became a lifeguard first, when I was around 20 years old. I loved the water and it seemed like the natural summer job to have, especially now that I teach elementary school during the year. For my first lifeguard job at Lake Hopatcong, part of your duties as a lifeguard was to teach swim lessons as well. I enjoyed it and I eventually became certified as a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor. Also, when I was around 18 years old, I joined the local Y with my family. I took a water aerobics class with my mom and I fell in love with it. I wanted to became an aqua aerobics instructor, but held off for a while. After Hurricane Sandy, we lost power and I was going to the Y to shower and I decided to take a Zumba® class. I loved it and I became certified to teach regular Zumba® and Aqua Zumba®. I then started the Aqua Zumba® program at my original Y, which I still run today. From that point, I continued on in the fitness world. I got certified to teach water aerobics along with a number of other certificates to teach different classes. I also have my lifeguard instructor trainer certification, which means I can certify people to train lifeguards – and we’re offering this course here at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Y in August. I’m also certified to teach LaBlast® Splash and we’re bringing that here, too, soon. At the Y, I just love the interactions with people, especially the populations I work with, and I enjoy having an impact on them. I see it with the kids in the swim lessons program as they progress and the people in the water exercise classes who tell you how good they feel or how they’ve lost weight. The Y itself, it’s really for the community. It’s not just a gym.”