16-LizKoengiI started working in the Aquatics Department at the Rye Y when I was in high school, first as a lifeguard and then as a swim teacher. I was immediately drawn to teaching. The interaction with members was important to me and teaching kids a life skill was something that had so much meaning to me since I learned how to swim at this Y when I was younger. During college I worked here at every break. My major was Psychology with a minor in Business. I wanted to work with people – staff training, development, and, mentoring. I tried several jobs but always came back to the Y; I always found consistency and stability here.

I remained here part time until the Assistant Aquatics Director position came up and I applied for it. It’s a great job for me. I love training a team; several members of my staff remind me of me when I was younger. My goal is to continue to develop as a manager and I’m working on my masters now in Organizational Leadership.

I’ve had the opportunity to really get to know families. Some of them have been coming for years and I know all the siblings. My favorite part of my job is seeing their progress. In addition to seeing individual students progress, I can see an overview of the whole program. I have the ability to see the development of over 1,000 children! I make a point of knowing all their names. That’s important to me. Some of my job comes down to psychology – for example, understanding the behaviors of a certain child and pairing them with the right instructor. I try to meet each child’s and each family’s needs.

The Rye Y has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally. This fall I participated in the TRIBE. I had always wanted to do a triathlon and took advantage of the opportunity. I met one of my greatest friends there – we became very close in a short amount of time. I’ve been a competitor all my life, but felt so much positive emotion working with this group of women. They inspired me to keep pushing and I am more determined to compete in more races this year. I will be participating in the TRIBE this year as well! I felt very accomplished afterward. All of us felt accomplished