Billy grew up in a single parent home with his father. When he turned 18, he and his father had a falling out and Billy moved out of his father’s house. He moved in with a friend and his family. The mother of the friend knew Billy needed something to occupy his time so she went to the Kerasotes Branch to see if they could add him to her membership. The staff at the Y told her to send Billy in and he could apply for a scholarship membership. Billy thought he was just going to get a membership to a fitness facility. But what he got that day was invaluable friendships and skills he still uses today.
The membership personnel were so impressed with Billy that they asked if he would like to apply for a front desk job at the Y. He did and was immediately hired. Billy says, “The Y really started the good things in my life rolling.” While working at the front desk, he developed many long lasting friendships with his co-workers and members. He says, “Working at the Y never felt like a job. It felt more like a place to go and be part of something bigger.” In addition to working part-time, he also took a full-load of college credits. Although it was a busy time, it allowed him to save enough to buy his first car. He says he still has the car to this day and that car is a constant reminder of his first job and the lessons, friends and “family” he made while he was here.
Billy spent most of his time at the front desk, but he also spent some time working in Child Watch. Growing up as an only child he didn’t have a lot of practice with younger kids. He says it is in Child Watch that he discovered his true calling. He says, “God put kids in my life so I could see the value they add to me and what I add to theirs.” He has taken that love and those learned skills and extended it into his personal life. Billy serves as a youth minister for the Pasfield Southern Baptist Church. He spends most of his Sunday afternoons with a group of young boys teaching them life lessons and the importance of God and faith in their lives. He says he really enjoys this ministry and wouldn’t have realized he enjoyed working with kids if not for his experiences at the YMCA.
A lot of things have changed for Billy since he first stepped foot into the Kerasotes Branch. With encouragement from his supervisor at the Y, he received his associate degree in Math and Science from Lincoln Land Community College. He has since reconciled with his dad and moved back home. Currently he is employed at Marine Bank as a Personal Banker. As a member of the Y, he enjoys taking yoga and the body conditioning classes as well as spending some time in the gym playing basketball. Billy says, “The YMCA is really more than a place to work out, it’s a place where the employees really make a difference in someone’s day.” For Billy, the Y has made more than a difference in his day; the Y has made a difference in his life.
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