We Are Y Wednesdays

Each Wednesday, we’ll be featuring someone who is part of our Y community, whether a staff member, volunteer, donor or YMCA member. Together, they make the Y a special place where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy, confident, connected and secure. We hope you enjoy meeting them all!

Meet Kristine, our Membership Engagement Director who has been with our Y for almost 2 years, but has been part of the Y family for 15 years

 “When I was little, I used to go to the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Y for Preschool and to take swim lessons.”

Meet Anthony, our new Facilities Director who has enjoyed his first month working for our YMCA

“I started working here in January and this is the first Y I’ve worked for. I used to belong to the Y in Union about 15 years ago and I always felt at home.”

Meet Alex, our marketing and communications intern who is learning about our Y over her winter break

“During the Fall semester, I was looking for internships related to my major. My university connected me to the YMCA with an internship in marketing/communications.”

Meet Samantha, one of our former Gymnastics Team members turned coaches

“I started taking gymnastics classes at the Grand Street building when I was very young and was invited to join the Gymnastics Team by the time I was 9 years old. I competed for the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA Gymnastics Team for nine years, representing the team at Nationals several times.”

Meet Susan, one of our longtime members turned swim instructors who enjoys coming to the Y to exercise and socialize

“I joined about 18 years ago when my oldest was a baby. I was looking for a gym that offered babysitting so I could exercise. Over the years, the Y has provided my family with classes to meet our needs at every stage.”

Meet Eric, one of our dedicated members who was inspired by his family to lose weight and get healthy

“Two years ago, I was 43 years old and 398 pounds, that was my heaviest. I decided to undergo weight loss surgery, a lot because of my 8-year-old daughter Avery. I started thinking, how many 70-year-olds do you know who weigh 400 pounds? I didn’t know any.”

Meet Eunice, one of our senior members who learned to swim at our Y and realized you can achieve your goals at any age

“After I retired, I came to the Y to work out. Someone suggested to me that I try the pool. I saw the older women in it and wanted to try. At first, I didn’t think it was possible because of my age.”

Meet Maria, our great infant room teacher who doubles as our resident artist around the holidays

“I have been working here since 2014 and started at the old Grand Street location. I was looking for a new job after my old daycare closed, and the family I was nannying for told me that the Y was hiring.”

Meet Susan, one of our terrific FSPY employees who wears many hats, including finance administrator, swim instructor, water exercise instructor and Member Service representative

“I started here in September 2017 in the Aquatics Department. I was under a tremendous amount of stress in my life the year before and started taking water exercise classes to help alleviate some of my stress.”

Meet Sophia and Ari, two longtime Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA members turned employees who are thankful for the opportunities the Y has provided them

Sophia recalls: “Our Y story started a long time ago. Ari was born with Down Syndrome and I had a hard time even finding people to babysit for him. We had taken mommy and me swim lessons and when he got a little older, I wanted to continue with the swim lessons. Anywhere I went, the first response was always, ‘we don’t have a special program here.’

Meet Johan, our knowledgeable and helpful Aquatics Coordinator who especially enjoys teaching people about safety

“I came here as a lifeguard and swim instructor and now I’m the Aquatics Coordinator. My job is coordinating the Red Cross trainings for Lifeguarding and CPR for our staff, developing plans for pool safety, inservice trainings and helping to manage the pool chemicals.”

Meet Lacey, our knowledgeable Human Resources/Payroll Administrator who enjoys helping staff members on their YMCA journey

“I moved to the area in May 2017 and became a member of the Y. About a year later, I started working here as a substitute fitness instructor.”

Meet Darlene, a longtime Y member who decided to begin her fitness journey almost two decades ago

Never an “exerciser,” Darlene was pleasantly surprised by how good working out made her feel. “I never exercised, ever. I didn’t like to sweat. In the early 2000s when my kids were young, one day out of total curiosity, I decided to see if I could run a mile. I did it and then started running regularly.”

We Are Y Wednesdays: Meet Barbi, our friendly Child Watch Supervisor who also is a longtime member of our YMCA

“I have been working here since late August, but I’ve been a member for years. I first joined to get in shape. Our twins then joined the Swim Team and have been on it since they were 6 – they are now 15.”

Meet Jadie, one of our great lifeguards and swim instructors who also sits on our YMCA Event Planning Committee

“This is my fourth month working here. I grew up in Scotch Plains and grew up going to the Y when I was younger. I took gymnastics and swim lessons and my brother played basketball. The Y, to me, was always like the center of the community.”