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 Lorrie, one of our dedicated Welcome Center Representatives

“I have been working here for 24 years. My husband was doing the lawn maintenance and snow plowing at the time. We were friends with the Membership Director, Joanne, and my husband came in and said my wife would like a job at the Y.”

Meet Casey, one of our Lifeguards, Deck Ambassadors and Health Screeners

“My Y story started when I was around 2 years old. I first came here to do parent and me swim lessons and then started regular swim lessons.”

Meet Elisa, John, Mara, Brenna and Luke, one of our awesome Summer Camp families

“We’ve been members of the Y for 9 years. We initially joined for swim lessons for our oldest daughter.”

Meet Miss Kourtni, our School Age Child Care and Camp Coordinator

“During my junior year in high school, I met the Director of Child Care for the YMCA at a school job fair. I applied for a 3-day position that was then held in the main Y building.”

Meet Kera, one of our terrific camp counselors who is looking forward to creating a great Summer Camp experience for our campers

“I have been working here for about 7 years. I needed a job and I emailed the Camp Director at the time. She hired me for Summer Camp and I also started working in the after school program during the year.”

Meet Katie, our School Age Child Care and Camp Director, who is excited to have the Best Summer Ever

“My journey here at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA started when I was 3 years old with parent-child swim lessons. My father would bring me every Saturday for classes.”

Meet Mary, Matt, Jack and Abby, members of our Y for almost 15 years who have become part of our Swim Team family

“We have been members of the Y since 2006. We joined when our son Jack was 6 months old and we wanted to sign him up for swim lessons. Water safety and teaching our kids how to swim was very important for us.”

Meet Bernadette, a member of our Y for over four decades who is staying connected by participating in our live classes and following our YouTube fitness videos

“I have been enjoying membership at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA for about 41 years. I joined to participate in activities that promote physical, emotional and mental health and to become acquainted with members of the community.”

Meet Kirsten, Antonio, Ant and William, one of our Y families who are staying connected and staying with us to help us reopen as strong as before

“We joined the Y in Spring 2010 after our first son, Ant, was born so we could participate in parent/child swim and gymnastics class.”

Meet Anne, one of our dedicated members who got healthy and fit in retirement and is looking forward to when our doors reopen

“I joined the Y in January of 2017. I was employed as a clinical social worker in a psychiatric inpatient unit, and was fortunate to be able to take early retirement.”

Meet Chris, our Director of Competitive Aquatics, who began his Y journey as a member of our Swim Team and now oversees the team of over 200 swimmers

“I started at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA in 1993 after joining the FSPY Swim Team. I started working as a lifeguard and swim instructor in 1997.”

Meet Zach, our Associate Aquatics Director, who was a Y kid turned Y professional

“My Y journey began with swim lessons run by my local Y when I was 9 years old. From there, I joined the Swim Team and stuck with it through grade school.”

Meet Donna, our Director of Healthy Living who is also a registered dietitian and in her role, leads many of our health management programs

“My Y story goes back a bit. Our family moved to New Jersey from Massachusetts in 1996 when my boys were 5 years old and 11 months old. My husband was working in the city and I was alone with the two boys. So, the first thing I did was seek out the YMCA!”

Meet Kathy, our Senior Director of Child Care Services who started her Y journey 30 years ago

“My story started when I was in college. I was taking an education course that required me to either volunteer or work at a school or child care center. I found myself at the Grand Street Y working as a teacher’s aide; 30 years later, here I am as a senior program director.”

Meet Jennifer, our Health and Wellness Director, who started as a member of our Y and discovered her love of group fitness

“I started part-time 10 years ago as an instructor teaching cycle. I was a member and had been taking another instructor’s class and she asked if I’d be interested in becoming an instructor myself.”

Meet Tracy, our associate executive director who started working at our Y 20 years ago as a lifeguard and swim instructor

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.”

Meet Jennifer, our Director of Sports and Fine Arts, who enjoys giving back to the community in her role at the Y

“My Y journey started when we moved to Scotch Plains in 2004. My son attended the YMCA Child Care at Grand Street as an infant, and through the years, my kids took swim lessons, my…

Meet our CEO Kim, who began her Y career as a camp counselor and is now leading our Y through these challenging times

“I started at the Y in Union when I was 17 as a camp counselor. I had no intention of working for the Y as my career. When I graduated college, I decided to work for the Y one more summer and then find a ‘real job.’”

Meet Kawanzaa, one of our fantastic Spin instructors who was inspired to join the Y team after taking classes as a member

“I was at the Y as a member for at least 15 years before becoming a teacher. I learned to swim there as an adult, and my kids also learned to swim there.”

Meet Julie, a participant in our MS Land and Water Exercise Programs who enjoys the camaraderie and support the programs provide

“A doctor had suggested working out in the water to help ease the symptoms of my MS.”

Meet Talib, one of our newest Board Members who is passionate about the Y’s mission and enjoys helping others in our community

“I started coming here as a member five years ago. In 2015, before I moved to Scotch Plains, I knew I needed to be healthier. I had hypertension and was overweight and I had to do something about it.”

Meet Taj, one of our dedicated employees who started at FSPY as an intern and became the Sports Coordinator three years ago

“When I was in college, I majored in sports management and I was looking for an internship. I participated in a lot of sports growing up like football, basketball and track which led to my interest in sports management. I knew that the Y offered a lot of sports programs and applied for an internship.”

Meet Anne, our Administrative Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer who sees the impact our Y makes every day

“My twin sons were 15 months old and I thought I might like a little part-time job for a couple of hours a week. I worked in Child Watch, back then it was called Babysitting, for about 2 weeks and then was moved to the Front Desk.”

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.”