“After I graduated high school, I moved away and went to college. But I wasn’t 100% committed. I changed majors and decided it was best to take a break, figure out what I wanted to do and then go back. I moved home and needed a job. Luckily, I had obtained my lifeguard certification in college. My dad and I went to the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Y together since I was 14 and I was familiar with it. I applied and was hired as a lifeguard and taught swim lessons. Then, a full-time position opened up. I never thought I would have a career at the Y. I had a lot of great mentors, opportunities and experiences. I went back to school in my mid-20s, working full time, while in school full time. My degree is in sports and recreation management. By taking time off, when I went back to school, I wanted to do it. There have been a lot of opportunities along the way and I was able to develop personally and professionally. I went from a lifeguard and swim instructor to an associate aquatic director to aquatic director to senior program director to assistant associate executive director. In my job, there is never a boring day, never a day that’s the same. I also feel like for me, the Y is my second family. I feel like I’ve grown up at the Y and built strong relationships. I have such a connection to the Y and the community. I can’t imagine my life without it. The other piece to it, is I enjoy watching people grow and develop. As a supervisor, we see young people start at the Y and then they come back with their own families. It’s a circle that keeps going. I really miss seeing people at the Y – the little kids running down the hall, the seniors in the café, my co-workers. Unfortunately, these are things you take for granted. You don’t realize how important it is until you don’t have it.”