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Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in My Y Story, North YMCA, Social Responsibility, Staff, Uncategorized, Y Stories, Y Stories |

My Y Story – Ahmad & Aziz

My Y Story – Ahmad & Aziz

One day, Shah Perai, a mother of four young sons, came home to find her house devastated by an explosion. Such ruinous havoc was sadly not extraordinary in the country she called home, a place wrought with unimaginable violence. If the family wanted to live, they had to seek refuge. Undergoing a deluge of horrors, Shah Perai and each of her little boys, Aziz, Ahmad, Shafiq, and Sidig, managed to escape war-torn Afghanistan. These five brave refugees landed in Spokane, Washington. The YMCA provided them with a family membership through financial assistance. Over the following weeks, Aziz worked diligently with Y aquatics staff to learn how to swim for the first time ever. Eventually the YMCA fully funded Aziz’s formal lifeguard training, and he quickly became a paid YMCA Lifeguard. Aziz helped his younger brother, Ahmad, learn to swim, and soon Ahmad also completed the YMCA Lifeguard Training class. Today both brothers not only work as lifeguards at the YMCA to help support their family, but they also exemplify...

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Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Social Responsibility, Staff, Y Stories, Y Stories, YMCA of the Inland Northwest, Youth Development |

Staff Spotlight – Lauren

Staff Spotlight – Lauren

Lauren Wimmer is a Cause Driven Leader On Duty at the Spokane Valley YMCA. What began as a simple response to a Craigslist ad has blossomed into a passion, and a family for Lauren. Her story with the Y begins in Salem, Oregon, where she accepted a position working the front desk. While working there, she met Jacob a coworker, and struck up a friendship that would grow to be much more. Over two years after meeting at the Y, Jacob and Lauren became engaged and just welcomed their daughter, Harper, into the world. Aside from her fiancé and daughter, the YMCA helped shape Lauren’s goals and aspirations. She says she really wasn’t aware of all the things the Y does in the community, but now wants to make working for nonprofits a big part of her life moving forward. “It’s so fulfilling working here, I feel like if I can just make a difference, even for just one person, then it’s all worth it.” Outside of her time...

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Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Health and Wellness, Healthy Living, Uncategorized, Y Stories, Y Stories, YMCA of the Inland Northwest |

My Y Story – Joan

My Y Story – Joan

Joan knew something was off, she just didn’t know what. After almost two years of hospital visits and possible explanations, doctors finally found the answer; Hairy Cell Leukemia. The rare cancer put her in the hospital for more than two long months while she underwent chemotherapy. The heavy doses of medication and other treatments left her in the worst shape of her life. One day during Joan’s recovery, her daughter went to the North Y for a workout while home from college, and Joan decided to tag along. After about 10 minutes on the treadmill she knew she had to do something different. Looking to turn her physical state around, she was determined to come as often as she could. “I just decided to start coming [to the Y] again. I felt better the more I moved. I didn’t have any grandiose goals or anything, this wasn’t to lose weight, this was just to feel better.” Gradually, she worked herself up to coming to the Y for two hours...

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Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Health and Wellness, Healthy Living, Staff, Y Stories, Y Stories, YMCA of the Inland Northwest |

Staff Spotlight – Reba

Staff Spotlight – Reba

Reba Campbell is a Wellness Coach at the Central Spokane YMCA. Her YMCA journey begins in Dillon, Montana, where as a teenager she would go daily to the local Y to work out and connect with her community. Reba credits the wellness coaches with inspiring her passion of building relationships with people and helping others, “those wellness coaches made a huge impact on my life.” Reba wasted no time giving back, at age 15 she became a lifeguard at the Y, then worked her way up to lead guard, water exercise instructor, group exercise instructor and now wellness coach. Through her time in Spokane she has worked at the North, Valley and Central YMCAs. Although she has progressed quickly, Reba isn’t looking to go anywhere else, “my dream was to be a wellness coach and an instructor at the Y.” She says the relationships she makes with members keeps her coming back everyday and seeing a person overcome their fears and reach their goals is the best part of her job. Throughout her time working...

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Posted by on Jul 27, 2017 in Health and Wellness, Healthy Living, Uncategorized, Y Stories, Y Stories, YMCA of the Inland Northwest |

My Y Story – Terri

My Y Story – Terri

Terri’s lifestyle had gotten in the way of her well-being but it wasn’t for lack of trying. She had tried numerous fad diets with short term luck, but never with lasting change. After a visit with her doctor, Terri was told she needed to try something new. Joining the YMCA was the jumpstart she needed. What began as hopping on the treadmill and elliptical a few times a week, turned into a passion. After discovering numerous exercise classes, Terri found she was reenergized, feeling better and taking on more physical challenges. She challenged her daughters to join her for Bloomsday. But she didn’t stop there. With the support of her husband, daughters and grandchildren, Terri has completed 3 additional local 5K runs with plans for more on the horizon. One of the most motivating factors for making changes are her grandchildren, “I’ll have 22 grandkids in February, I want to be able to play with them and do lots of things I couldn’t do before,” Terri said.   She...

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Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 in My Y Story, Staff, Y Stories, Y Stories, YMCA of the Inland Northwest |

Staff Spotlight – Brenda

Staff Spotlight – Brenda

Brenda is the YMCA of the Inland Northwest’s Association Business Office Director, which is a fancy way of saying that she makes sure our business runs smoothly. This year she is celebrating 30 years of working at the YMCA! She started working with the Y while she was still college in 1987. Looking for a summer job for when college was not in session, Brenda found her way into working in child care at summer day camps. She transitioned from child care into full-time program directing by piloting the kindergarten after school child care program, which is still going strong to this day. Brenda originally wanted to teach, or go into a similar field of child care, but after several years of hands-on child care she decided that while she still wanted to help children and work with the Y, she would do so in a more managerial manner. In 1994 she became a full time employee of the YMCA and has overseen countless programs since then. In her...

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