For many, the Y has been part of their journey from childhood to graduation as they have moved through preschool, swim lessons and after-school programs. Whether at off-site locations or at the Church Street facility, the Cumberland YMCA is committed to providing opportunities, support and a safe space for youth to learn, grow and become part of their community.
And some of those youth become leaders in their own right, taking on the roles and responsibilities that go with helping, supervising, teaching and supporting others. Some come to the Y as young children; some arrive with resumes in hand. Those that chose to work at the Y find more than a job and a paycheque; they find a community and the opportunity to belong, have fun, and give back.
There are many wonderful young people who work at our YMCA. Today, I would like to celebrate those who are among the graduating class of 2017.
Zoe Estabrooks first came to the YMCA to learn to swim, and then returned to work as a lifeguard and swim instructor. A member of the graduating class at TRHS (Sackville), she enjoys the camaraderie and support of the Y’s aquatics department, as well helping to develop the next generation of swimmers. With plans to study at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, we hope she’ll drop in whenever she returns home for a visit.
Kelsey Milley was three when she started swim lessons at the Y. After working through the program’s levels, she continued taking her Star 7 until she was old enough to enrol in the Lifesaving Society’s Bronze level courses. She joined the Y’s Aquatics department in 2014 and works as both a lifeguard and swim instructor. Seeing her young students become swimmers reinforces the sense that she is making a difference in their lives. Kelsey graduated from ARHS in June and will enrol in the Foundation Year program offered at the University of King’s College in Halifax in the fall. She hopes a Bachelor of Journalism degree will be the next step towards a career as a journalist on the world stage.
As a NLS lifeguard and swim instructor, Daniel Musseau brought both humour and attentiveness to his position on the pool deck. He hopes to offer both attributes to his new role with the Canadian Reserves. Daniel left for training in Gagetown, NB after graduating from ARHS in late June.
The Cumberland Y has been a familiar part of Landen Clarke’s life for as long as he can remember. This ARHS grad grew up taking part in activities from preschool to swim lessons to helping with special events over the years. The Y Youth Leadership program took him to Edmonton on an exchange program and allowed him to take part in actively planning and presenting programs through the childcare department, the Youth Centre, and the school-based Youth on the Move project. A recent member of the Membership Services team, Landen hopes to continue working with youth as he pursues a career in policing.
Levi Rector also enjoys working in the Youth Centre at the Y. A member of the ARHS graduating class, we hope Levi will continue to be a familiar presence as he considers his options after high school.
Congratulations to all our grads, and good luck as you go forward!
Jan Matthews’ column appears every two weeks in the Amherst News.