I was interested in teaching water aerobics and was referred to the Rye Y by my friend Sheryl who works in Member Services. I spoke to Vickie who told me what I needed for certifications and I got certified in February. I was brand new, like a babe in the woods!

Vickie (Senior Director of Aquatics/Safety) told me that she would give me an opportunity to substitute, which was perfect for me as a beginning teacher. I wanted to teach here and was impressed with the facility and the cleanliness. I was also impressed with the training.

As it turned out, one of the instructors, Natalie, was pregnant and had to go on bed rest. Vickie asked me if I was willing to jump in. I was really nervous. She gave me the opportunity to teach the class to the Rye Handicapped group – they were so lovely and warm to me.

I took a lot of classes here, I took every water class the Y had and was really inspired. The other instructors told me they were here to help. I have to mention the wonderful lifeguards too, who always help me with my equipment and have been very helpful. In the summer I really gained a lot of experience. A member in the locker room said to me, very nicely, “You’ve come such a long way since you started!” And I have! I’ve learned many members’ names and really formed relationships.

Now I’m also starting as a Healthy Heart Ambassador here. I will be doing this three hours a week, working with members one on one to help monitor their blood pressure. I feel that I’ll be doing something good and hope I can inspire more people to take water classes. The more I learn, the more I grow as a teacher.

I feel the Rye Y is helping me grow in my life – my work here is an extension of the rest of my life helping people. I volunteer with the American Cancer Society in their “Look Good Feel Better” program. I’m a makeup artist and this is very rewarding. I also volunteer with My Sisters’ Place, which focuses on abused women. People don’t realize how much abuse happens right here in Westchester.

The Rye Y is the perfect place to do good things. In December, I’ll be teaching the water class for the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA group. I’d like to get more involved in the LIVESTRONG program. My mother is a cancer survivor and my sister passed away from cancer so it is meaningful to me.

I look forward to continuing to work here and grow and I’d like to get my family involved here. Because that’s what the world needs: love sweet love.