Stories Mike Daniels | West Suburban YMCA

How Mike Finds Meaning and Growth at the Y

Jun 12, 2019

Read about Mike Daniels' experience working at the Y and what it means to him.

"I have always wanted to have the opportunity to work with people, and especially when I get the chance to brighten someone’s day. I began working at the West Suburban YMCA back in July when I met the Membership Director, Brittany. I initially met Christie, who attended the Perkins School for the Blind’s job fair where I have been a student for a few years. I am originally from Southern California, and even with being a long way from home, I have a supportive family at the Perkins School for the Blind. I think Christie saw my passion to work because she shortly after the job fair introduced me to Brittany. Before meeting the team at the Y, I had been working at a job where I did not get to interact with many people. I began to feel like I was not living up to my full potential. Speaking with Christie at my school’s job fair was perfect timing and when she told me what the opportunity would be, I had to apply right away.

A few weeks went by till Brittany gave me a call to come and interview, and when she said that there was a volunteer job available to work in membership, I was so ecstatic. When I got the job, I could not wait for my first day because getting an opportunity to work in the Y’s Membership Office meant getting to interact with some of the thousands of people who come through the doors. It meant getting the opportunity to say, “Hello! How are you today?” and hearing about in what ways I can impact someone’s day. I knew that something as small as giving them a smile, leaving them a happy birthday voicemail, or even just helping them with minor issues, I could not wait to join the team at the West Suburban YMCA and go beyond my potential. As my time here has progressed, I cannot imagine working anywhere else. I love, love, love, working at the Y. What is even more exciting about my experience at the Y is that the team I was eager to join has become new members of the family and community that supports me while I am away from my own."