This week I’d like to focus on one experience in particular. It was Tuesday and my supervisor realized she hadn’t given me the full tour of the Hoover Y grounds yet, so we set out on a walk together. There had been a huge rainstorm the night before, which made the late morning far more bearable than the previous week’s oppressive near 100 degree heat.
We walked through the open areas of the park and also explored a network of trails encompassing the grounds that I’d had no idea existed. Our conversation turned to some of the Hoover Y’s history and we discussed a visitor that we’d had the day before. An older gentleman, who was visiting Ohio from Florida, stopped by the park to see how it had changed since he worked here in the 50s and 60s. My supervisor told me that visits like that were quite common and that people involved with the YMCA of Central Ohio tend to have really deep connections to it. I had gotten a sense that the Y community was pretty tight knit when I met staff from other branches last week who had grown up going to YMCAs, which incited their passion to work there later in life. After our walk it felt very gratifying to know that I have a place in the Y community through this fellowship, which is a new experience for me because I didn’t grow up going to a local YMCA.
I’ve seen that sometimes in the nonprofit sector, because resources tend to be pretty limited, organizations and people can get competitive rather than collaborative. However, I’ve found that the Y is a really supportive and collaborative network, and I think that’s because there’s such a strong sense of community. I really appreciate how this creates such a positive work environment.