Gabriella’s Story

I was very sick for over a year and I thought, they thought, I might die. When I finally started healing and was looking for a job, the Y reached out to me from At first I wasn’t sure, I’d never been in reception. I’d worked at Starbucks and worked at a movie theatre. I wasn’t sure about the Y environment, especially because I’d learned that I had a couple of physical disabilities.

I’ve always lived in Westchester, in Harrison and Mamaroneck, but had never visited the Rye Y. When I came here for the first time for my interview, everyone was so welcoming and warm. I continue to see and feel that. I was worried about working in a gym because I had issues with my weight from being ill. Here it has never been an issue. I see members from all walks of life and that is beautiful.

Being here has really been a source of empowerment after being sick for so long. I’ve made bonds with my coworkers and with members. I’ve connected with members from all walks of life who have also experienced illness and recovery. Having that support is so beautiful. It is the most wonderful job I’ve ever had.

When I take classes at the Y Studios, everyone is different; everyone has their own momentum. I took a Zumba class with my mom because she is obsessed with Zumba. It gives you that confidence that I would never have at another gym. It really feels like a second home. You can be comfortable with yourself. It is so great.

People don’t realize how high the Y really holds those values. You really feel it. You know each other’s names. You start off as strangers and soon know each other’s stories. Even just their day-to-day lives – you know when they haven’t been here for a few days and you ask them how they’ve been. I think that’s really wonderful.