“When we moved to New Jersey this fall, I was looking to get involved in the community. I connected with my neighbor who said she was a former swim instructor and used to work at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA. My job before coming here was as a swim instructor. When I saw they were hiring lifeguards, I applied, and here I am. Immediately, I thought, I found my people. I’m a Y person, whenever I move, I look for the YMCA. There I always find a community. I’m now here three days a week and I’m getting to know the members. Because of the Y, I feel like I’m connected. The people at the Y are becoming my second family, whether they know it or not. This is actually the third Y I’ve worked for and all the Y’s I’ve worked for, there are similarities. They attract similar people with similar values, because of what the Y represents and stands for. The Y is about community. As a new person here in this area, to be so accepted so quick, it’s heart-warming.  My Y career started when I lived in Wisconsin. It was 14 years ago, after my first child was born. The Y in my area was hiring swim instructors and I was a swim instructor and lifeguard back in high school. I worked in Wisconsin for four years and then took a break, before working for a Y in Charlotte, NC, for three years. I then started here in October. Working here is good for my mental health – especially now – and it’s also helping me connect with my community, meet people and see what New Jersey is really about. The Y has what I need at this point in my life and has had what I needed at so many points in my life. When I moved here, I didn’t even look for other places to work. I want the members to know how much I appreciate them welcoming someone new into their community and for helping me feel welcome and at home here. To move during this time and have the Y become my family, I’m extremely grateful.”