For some of our staff, working at the Y is as much personal as it is professional. Such is the case for Michelle Roberts, membership coordinator at the Prevention Park YMCA in Frankfort. Michelle originally joined the Y as a member as she was preparing to be an empty nester. Knowing her kids were nearing the end of high school and preparing for college, Michelle sensed she needed a place to belong, to invest in something for herself. It turned out to be the right decision; taking classes and trying new things helped her gain confidence and make new friends. About a year after starting her membership, Michelle saw more opportunity for the Y to be a part of her life. “I decided that the Y had so much more to offer than just a gym,” Michelle shared. “I applied for a job with the hopes of finding a new work family. I found my home for wellness and activity.”
The instinct about the Y being more than a gym was right, and what began as a part-time job at the member service desk during those early days has blossomed into the role of membership coordinator. While her primary role has her leading the membership department, she also finds herself working different annual events like the Black Cat 5K and Derby Dash. But even with her increasing responsibilities and time working, Michelle has stayed active as a member, too. She has surprised herself and even developed a passion for a new activity. “By taking indoor cycling classes, I found a love for bike riding. My husband purchased a road bike for me and I started riding with friends I've made in the class,” Michelle added. “Road cycling is my thing now. Had I not tried the cycling classes, I never would have known. And from that I have participated in the Bike to Beat Cancer through Norton's Hospital in Louisville since 2010. I had a bike ride in California on my bucket list that I participated in, The 2019 Tour de Pink.”
Though the classes and trying new things have been a key to Michelle’s success, it should also be noted that her optimism and positive attitude have certainly contributed to her great experience. “The Y has such an awesome group of members. I think we all need to keep positivity in our daily lives. We all have something special to offer and I'm always excited to share how the Y was there when I was looking for something to belong to.”
Given Michelle’s journey from member to employee, it is not surprising that the three words that come to mind when she thinks of the Y are friendships, members, and new experiences. We look forward to hearing about other ways Michelle finds fun and relationships at her Y.