all families and individuals within the community should be a part of. I’m here to revitalize our programming for youth and adults within the community through healthy living events, group exercise classes, an abundance of youth sport programs and much more!
Q: Where did you grow up and what is your educational background?
A: I grew up in Easton, Maryland, where I spent a majority of my time at the YMCA of the Chesapeake. Thus bringing me to just how much I love the YMCA and what it stands for. I graduated from Easton High School and pursued a career in personal training, obtaining certifications from ISSA and NASM which lead me to my role as Head Trainer at the Easton Family YMCA. I am now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in exercise science.
Q: Tell us about your professional background and how it led you to the Elwood YMCA.
A: Well, through my leadership skills and just how much I care about helping individuals in need, I gained a great amount of recognition within my hometown YMCA. After some time, I got a call from Indiana from one of my former YMCA employers, who just so happens to be our new interim CEO. He saw the Elwood YMCA as a place that just needed the right amount of leadership to really shine, and that’s where I came in.
Q: What do you see as the primary benefit to being a member of the Elwood Chamber of Commerce?
A: Well, with the revitalization process, getting the Elwood Family YMCA into the public’s eye again is crucial and what better organization than the Chamber of Commerce? I have gained valuable insight into what the community was like, what it wants, and what it needs just from a few conversations with some of the Chamber’s members.
Q: What would you like the readers to know about the offerings available at the Elwood YMCA?
A: That the Elwood Family YMCA is all about not turning anyone away due to an inability to pay. One of the first things I revised upon coming to this YMCA was our financial aid process and what it all entails. If you need assistance to obtain a membership, whether it’s for getting healthier, working out as a family, sports programs for your children, etc., we can help with all of that and you shouldn’t hesitate for a moment. The YMCA is here to bring the community together, including all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds and if there is something we offer that you wish to be a part of, just remember, we want you there too.
Q: As director, what changes do you hope to bring to the local Y?
A: Anything and everything that the community has been asking for. Affordable youth and adult programming, year-round pool accessibility, partnerships with businesses and individuals within the community to bring events for everyone here to the Y. Cooking courses, more group exercise classes, healthy living seminars and maybe, just maybe, a bigger and better YMCA!
Q: What professional achievements are you most proud of?
A: My job title at such an age (24) must seem like the best achievement in itself. But honestly, the reason I became the Head Trainer at the Easton YMCA was because of the relationships I built with all of my clients and the members of the Y. I’ve had couples weep in front of me with just how grateful they were that I would help them out even when they didn’t have the funds, or members call out to me as I walked the halls to have me join in their workouts or classes. Regarding professional achievements, relationships like that are what prove that I am doing something right and making something of myself that I will always be proud of.
Q: Tell us a little about your family.
A: I grew up with my mom and two brothers. We did a lot of moving around and had quite the tough time growing up. We were able to secure a home thanks to Habitat for Humanity, who allowed our family to contribute community service hours to purchasing a home at a significantly reduced cost. It was the first break in what seemed an eternity of sadness and negatives. Now one of my brothers is working for a very prominent architectural firm, I run a YMCA, and my mom is remarried and living comfortably. I’d say we did pretty well, despite the rough start.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time? What are your hobbies?
A: I am very adamant about exercise and weight training, and I feel everyone should partake in some sort of exercise activity to stay healthy and active, especially for their kids. I am also very active within the video-gaming community and if the sun is ever out and the Indiana wind is calm for once, I’ll most likely be out for a trip on my motorcycle. (There is still so much of Indiana I must see.)
Q: Is there anything else we didn’t ask that you would like readers to know?
A: In the beginning stages of change for the Elwood Family YMCA, please know that we are open to suggestions with almost every aspect of the Y itself. If you have any input, or maybe you just want to talk to me about what you’d like to see change, or maybe you saw something in the past and you’d like to see if we’ll be doing it again, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at the YMCA. I appreciate the feedback and by all means, if you yourself would like to be a volunteer and run a certain program here at the YMCA, I would love to hear about it! ●
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To find out about the Elwood YMCA's hours, membership, and current and upcoming programs and classes, please call (765) 552-9808, or visit their www.ymcamadco.org, or like them on Facebook. You can email Jerrad at Jreid@ymcamadco.org.