Alyssa’s father has worked for our Y for 38 years. When she came in to interview for her current position, she says she was nervous, but “I also felt a sense of comfort and familiarity knowing that I practically grew up here as a young child.”

She now loves working at the Y and a big part of that is spending time with her coworkers, who call themselves the “weekend crew.” After just a few short months of working with them, Alyssa says they feel like her second family. “I understand some people see jobs as an inconvenience, especially when they are my age, but I actually get excited to come to work because I am confident in what I’m doing and am able to spend valuable time with my coworkers,” she says.

Alyssa is currently a senior in high school and an active member and volunteer with the Cranford First Aid Squad. She’s been riding on the ambulance for about a year and has gained valuable experiences from her time there. She is also a double Varsity athlete in tennis and swim and has been captain of both teams.

In addition, Alyssa is an avid reader, and has been a Cranford Girl Scout since she was about 5 or 6 years old. She’s also completed a variety of community service projects, from volunteering at the Community Food Bank to educating elementary school children on cancer prevention. “I am happy to say that my time in this volunteer service, in addition to the First Aid Squad, has helped strengthen my community and those in it,” she says.

Alyssa is currently enrolled in a Union County College class to obtain her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification. This way, she can take the lead on any calls her Squad gets and be even more hands on during patient care. “I love being a part of this agency because I feel I am truly making a difference in my community and preparing myself for my future career in nursing,” she says.

She believes Women’s History Month is a great addition to the year because it allows successful and driven females to be highlighted in the community. Celebrating our diversity is important to her as well.

“At the workplace and in life in general, it is important to highlight the successes and accomplishments of everyone in the office, not just women,” Alyssa says. “People, regardless of gender, color or ethnicity deserve to be heard, and giving everyone a voice promotes equality and boosts one’s confidence. It also demonstrates to the community that the YMCA cares about each and every one of us and wants us to succeed in our endeavors.”