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Faces Around the Y: 2018 grads, spring edition

['At the Y with Jan Matthews']
['At the Y with Jan Matthews']

At the Y with Jan Matthews

One of the benefits of belonging to a diverse community such as the Y is the opportunity to see and celebrate some of the significant milestones of life. This week’s essay is dedicated to celebrating three young women who have been part of the Y staff as they worked through their post-secondary studies.

Abbie MacKenzie attended YMCA day camps as she was growing up in Calgary and went from participant to Y day-camp counsellor as a teenager. So, it seemed a natural fit for her to apply to the Cumberland Y while she was a student at Mount Allison University. She joined the Membership Services staff in October 2016 and later became one of the Team Leaders for the Y’s After the Bell program. While the end of her studies has taken her home to Calgary for the summer, Abbie commented on how much she learned from everyone she met at our Y and that those experiences will go with her on her future adventures.

During this spring’s convocation ceremonies, Abbie graduated from Mount A with a bachelor of srts in vommerce, with a double minor in psychology and international economics and business. Next September, she plans to return to the east coast to pursue a masters of employment relations at Memorial University in St. John’s.

Katharyn Stevenson also made the transition from large urban center to small town when she moved from southern Ontario to study in Sackville. Joining the Y’s staff in September 2014, she balanced her university academics with front desk responsibilities until her recent graduation with a bachelor of arts in women’s and gender studies. In the run-up to this year’s convocation, Mount Allison recognized Katharyn with both a University Leadership Certificate and a Departmental Award.

An active member of Sackville’s indie arts scene, Katharyn plans to remain in the area while she considers options for the next chapter of her life.

Sally-Ann Trenholm was five when she started swimming lessons at the Cumberland Y. After five years of lessons, she swam with the Spartans Swim Club until she was old enough to begin earning her lifesaving qualifications and join the Aquatics department. She worked as a lifeguard and YMCA swimming instructor through high school and while studying at the NSCC in the Early Childhood Education Program. A summer position in the Y’s Childcare department reinforced her enthusiasm for working with children and she enjoyed her practicum placements in the Learning Centre.

Sally-Ann will graduate from NSCC in mid-June and hopes to find work at a child care center in Amherst. She would like to build on her local work experience by working abroad before returning to school to further her studies in the field of education and learning disabilities.

While part of the YMCA’s mission statement is to encourage the development of mind, body and spirit, the community that is the Y also benefits in kind from all who are part of it. I thank each of these strong young women for the spirit, enthusiasm and dedication that they brought to our Y, and wish them success in all they pursue. Congratulations graduates!

Jan Matthews writes a column for the Cumberland YMCA.

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