The YMCA of Central Kentucky is full of interesting people with interesting stories. We come from many different places, along many different paths.
Adrienne Thakur’s includes a passion for children, violin and piano, languages and multiple educational degrees.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to proclaim her this association’s “renaissance woman.”
“I began playing the violin when I was approximately two years old,” Adrienne explained. “I also play piano fairly well. I can probably manage to play a tune on most any instrument I pick up.
“Oh, I also speak three languages: English, Nepali and Spanish.”
As we sit back and absorb all of this information about Adrienne (and there is more – much, much more) she drops in what makes this a Y story, “… and I love working with kids.”
Like many of us, she discovered the YMCA through her children’s involvement with different programming. “My daughter attended three years of summer camp, she and my son took swim lessons, and became involved in sports.
“We became members over time at the North Lexington Family YMCA. But I saw the Y’s social impact firsthand when our son entered middle school at LTMS, as his father and I entered him in the association’s before and after school program.
“He was an out of area magnet student, and this program enabled him to interact with classmates – make friends and feel a part of the school almost immediately.”
Adrienne recalls the moment she became involved personally, and how the experience quickly evolved from an engaged parent, to a rewarding career.
“That school year, there was some staff turnover, and the program was in jeopardy of being closed. I called the Y and offered to help. I was taking some time off from getting my MBA, and after the interviews was hired as the part-time Site Director for the LTMS before and after school program.
“One thing led to another, and when the school year ended, I became the co-Director of Summer Day Camp at the North Lexington Family YMCA,” Adrienne said with a chuckle, remembering fondly this important moment. “It was at this time I knew I wanted to be part of the Y family and became committed to the mission.”
Since then Adrienne has continued to grow her Y professional experience, becoming the Youth and Family Director at the “North Y,” and in 2018, joined the association staff working on a myriad of different assignments and projects ranging from child care compliance, program quality and curriculum for school age child care.
Later that year she added the role of Director of the association’s Black Achievers Program.
“Being able to impact, mentor and work with middle and high school students in the Black Achievers program has been one of the most rewarding roles so far,” Adrienne told us. “Uplifting, supporting and helping kids move positively toward their future with concrete skills and social supports is fantastic and exciting, each year that I’m involved.”
Also, Adrienne supports the association’s YMCA food program, helping to feed our community’s children. The YMCA of Central Kentucky provides snacks and meals for about 600 kids per day during the school year, and about 1000 per day during the summer.
It’s clear that Adrienne is a can-do employee, one that is eager to take on new assignments that impact the community. However, outside kids, we asked her how else the YMCA has impacted her life?
“The Y gives each of us as an employee a place to put one’s passion into practice using professional skills and education. In some ways, this is my ideal job – helping others and making a difference in our community.”
But of course, she brings it all back to kids. “The work I am doing with the YMCA ensures that I make a positive impact on equitable experiences and outcomes for all children, regardless of their individual situations.”
When we asked Adrienne about those professional skills and education, it continues beyond piano lessons and her MBA, which by the way, she earned from Sullivan University in 2017, summa cum laude.
“I hold a Bachelor of Arts in communications from DePaul University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law,” she ticks off, nonchalantly. “I’ve been a bookkeeper, spun pizzas, worked in a bagel shop and served as a display specialist in a university’s library’s archive and special collections.”
She continues, and we continue to just sit back and listen.
“I’ve been an executive assistant at a law-related education non-profit, a special investigator for the U.S. Government, an English teacher in Nepal at an American language center, an in-home non-medical assistant for home-bound elderly, and an attorney practicing defense, family, collections and immigration law.
“And now, I’m at the YMCA!”
When we asked the final question, which is of course, “Anything else?” Adrienne’s enthusiasm shines through.
“Working at the Y, for our mission to strengthen the community, is truly rewarding. I look forward to what the future holds, and to the ways in which I can continue to make a difference.