My experience at the Rye Y changed my career direction. I used to come to the Y when I was younger for swim lessons so when I took a gap year before my junior year in college, I gravitated to the Y. I taught youth sports classes and in the Y’s recess program at local elementary schools. In the summer I coached at the Rye Y Sports Camp.

Before teaching at the Y, I was unsure what I was going to do for a career. Teaching and coaching gave me a purpose, made me feel I have something to give and I felt appreciated in the community. I realized that I wanted to work with kids. I didn’t want to leave the community so I transferred to Manhattanville College and got my degree in Elementary Education.

I was a late bloomer with sports – I didn’t play baseball in high school, but played baseball at college, along with track. I wasn’t a strong athlete when I was younger but kept working at it until I became better. My experience helps me understand kids who struggle with sports. I help kids feel comfortable where they are and build on that. I believe sports skills can really help give kids confidence.