Long-time member and extraordinary employee Christina Stegall shares her Y story.
Looking back at my history with the YMCA, I would have never thought so many years later it would have such a positive impact on my life. The Y has definitely set me up for a happier and healthier future, and that journey began in the spring of 2001.
One night after school, I went with a friend to the Y to work out as a guest. At the time, she worked in Child Watch and knew I was looking for a job, so she suggested I apply. On the way out, I picked up an application to take home and fill out, not knowing what to expect. It turns out I was hired, and since then I’ve enjoyed many roles at the Y, not just in Child Watch but also in after-school programs, in Day Camp as a counselor and supervisor and in membership services — all this while finishing high school, graduating from college and now while also having a full-time job outside of the Y. I am currently working in membership services, which involves interacting with and assisting members and guests.
Over the years, I’ve also learned what it means to be a healthier version of myself and to actually like exercising. It’s been a long road, and it did not happen overnight, but it clicked for me with the group exercise classes. The instructors are great at showing variations of an exercise while you build up your strength as a beginner, and I now call many of them friends.
Working in membership services — getting to know the members and making those connections — is what has kept me with the Y. It’s become like my second family. Someone told me once I was going to be a “lifer.” I’m not completely sure what that means, but if I become the next Ms. Marguerite — who’s been with the Y since 1960! — then that would be an honor.