Staff Spotlight: Carlie, Aquatics Director

My first involvement with the Y was in Florida; it was a small YMCA in Ocala, FL. I spent one year living there and was lucky enough to be hired as the Swim Lesson Coordinator for the summer of 2001, when I was 18. It was a great experience to see the community that develops around a Y. I wasn’t involved with the Y again until the Haselwood Y opened in Silverdale, WA, near my home town of Kingston. I had been in Aquatics with the local school district and parks department for 12 years as a swim instructor, lifeguard and aerobics instructor, but fell in love with the Haselwood Y because of what it offered my whole family beyond the pool. We instantly became a Y family. I taught swim lessons and my daughters were involved in everything we could fit into our schedule, from music to swimming and ballet to gymnastics. We moved to Seattle in August of 2016 and I knew that I wanted the Y to be my career in our new city. I began teaching at the West Seattle Y, then moved to being the pool manager at the Matt Griffin Y in SeaTac and now am very pleased to be the Aquatics Director here at Auburn. Each Y community that I have had the privilege to be a part of, is wonderful, different and has taught me a lot.

Being a part of the Y has had a huge impact on my daughters and me. It was through the Y that I became a triathlete and became active in yoga. I lost a large amount of weight, the Y gave me an opportunity to be a healthier person both physically and mentally. My girls and I have found deep connections with our communities here through work, activities and volunteering. I have met many people that I now consider family. The things I love the most about the Y is that it is so much more than just a job. I get the opportunity to make a positive impact on the community and on individual lives every day. That, to me, is what the Y is all about.

Aquatics is a hugely important part of a Y and a community. We are surrounded by water here, in this beautiful Pacific Northwest. It is so important to know how to swim for safety and it truly is a lifetime sport. Anyone at any age can be in the water for fun and exercise. We have the opportunity to teach people of all ages how to stay safe while having fun. We teach people to swim, about boat and open water safety and train young people to be lifeguards and swim instructors. Furthering our goal of reducing drowning’s nationwide.

It is easy to get involved. There are lots of opportunities for employment, volunteering and trainings in the Aquatics department and throughout the Y. We are always looking for motivated people to become lifeguards or volunteers to help with various programs. Come see me at the pool!

Locations: Auburn Valley YMCA
Category: Personal Y Stories
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