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Posted by on Oct 4, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Staff Spotlight – Brenda

Staff Spotlight – Brenda

Brenda Jamison is the Early Childhood Education Coordinator at the EWU Children’s Center. She began her time with the Children’s Center in 1990 and worked for 6 years before taking time off to raise her family, then returned in 2012. “When I wanted to get back to work, this is the only place I wanted to be,” Brenda said. As the Early Childhood Education Coordinator she is tasked with adjusting learning curriculums and making sure over 50 staff members are properly equipped to teach the students. This includes making sure the correct curriculums are in place while balancing varying standards from many educational entities. Training, mentoring, coaching, encouraging and sometimes being a shoulder to cry on are just some of the things that make up Brenda’s day. When asked why she keeps coming back, Brenda said “for the love of the kids, they’re the future. You give, but you get a lot back.” Away from the office Brenda enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and three grandchildren....

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Posted by on Sep 27, 2017 in Uncategorized |

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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