Our facility is located along San Francisco’s Embarcadero area where one side—the Financial District booming with tech employees of six-figure salaries—contrasts the other side with residents living below the poverty line. Despite their economic differences, there is a strong common denominator of all these folks: they all wish to live a healthy lifestyle.
While speaking through encouragement during cool down, our instructor stated, “Celebrate your body.” The second she said that, it floated in my head all day long.
While working the front desk at the Y, I got to know A LOT of members. After all, part of my job was to welcome anyone and everyone who walked through the door with a smiling face. One member who stuck out to me was an older gentleman named Frank.
One of the first times I felt truly discouraged teaching swim lessons was with a shy, timid little girl. Surprisingly, there were no behavioral challenges – she was sweet and smart, and really not a handful. I had dealt with kids far worse than her, and always came out on top; the kids would have a great time, behavior issues would be gone or at least minimized, and I always felt so invigorated by the work I did.
Hidden behind Washington State Senate’s podium, my knees shook as the words began to spill out of my mouth. I had been waiting for this moment for four years, and there I stood reciting a speech I had practice thousands of times. Youth lieutenant governor, the person who presides over the Senate, was the position I had wanted to run for, for the longest time.
The Y has always championed diversity and inclusion of people from all walks of life, ages, and backgrounds. Just look at the YMCA International Services in Houston or the International Services in New York City. When newcomers to America arrive with hopes and dreams, they often bring with them an array of cultures, languages, demographic traits, and more.
Earlier this year, I was packing my bags to head down to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the 2015 Campus YMCA Partners (CYP) Conference. As an AmeriCorps member placed at Y-USA through the Public Allies Chicago Program, I was able to attend the conference because I am in the Training and Leadership Development/Talent Management Department that has helped to coordinate Campus YMCA’s in the past.
You're under the age of 35 and - let's face it - it seems like every one wants to give you advice on how to live your life. While that's cool (and often most welcome), others should know it's a two-way street. There's a lot to be learned from Gens Y & Z (But who wants to put a label on age anyway? We're all connected in some way or another in the digital age*, which makes all of us of all ages Gen C, if you think about it). So, for all the generations out there, here's some advice that all of us can use no matter what age you are.
* But what isn't digital anymore?
Many of you will visit our site and jump right over to the career section looking for a job this summer. While that's okay, just know that thinking about or even working at the Y comes with much more responsibility, especially if you're an emerging leader who truly cares about your global community.
Check out why young leaders are making headlines all over the world.