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Four Generations
Ashley and 4 generations of her family have been members and staff of the Marietta Family YMCA. Ashley shares why the Y is so important to her in her own words: “Being involved in the community in which you reside is very important for the development of a person's personality traits, values, and morals. I feel that the YMCA, in any city in the USA, is the heart of the community because the YMCA is not only a gym where you exercise your muscles, the YMCA is also a place of mental stimulation, education, and social interaction. These experiences within one's community have a huge impact on not only one person, but their entire family. My family has been involved with the Marietta Family YMCA for four generations and because of this, the YMCA's Core Values of Caring, Respect, Honesty and Responsibility have become engrained in my personality, morals and values.
My grandmother, Pauline Adams, worked at the Marietta Family YMCA from 1990-1993 as the Kitchen Manager and Cook. My mother, Lisa Adams (now Lisa Rake) worked at the YMCA in the 90’s for several years as a part-time Fitness Instructor and around 1997 she worked full time in the Fitness Center. My mother worked at the Marietta Family YMCA for about 14 years total.
Because of my mother’s wok at the YMCA, I literally grew up at the YMCA. I was at the YMCA almost every day from age four to age nineteen. I went to daycare in Mrs. Debbie's room and when I was school aged I was involved in almost every camp, activity, and sport imaginable. Out of every activity that I was involved in at the YMCA, swimming was my favorite. I took every lesson from Pike (age five) to Minnow (about age eight). From around age eight until about sixteen I volunteered at the YMCA.  I did everything from helping maintenance staff to arrange chairs for meetings to washing windows, I helped develop fliers for programs and type documents, I even helped work the Front Desk.  When I was sixteen, the YMCA worked in conjunction with Washington State Community College to offer Lifeguarding as college credit while I was a Post Secondary Education Option student (I started taking college classes during the summer of my sophomore year in high school) and because being a lifeguard sounded like fun, I took the class. After passing the class and the test I was hired at the YMCA. I worked at the YMCA as a Lifeguard, Swim Instructor, and Aquatic Fitness Instructor until shortly before I graduated from the college around age nineteen.
I am now twenty-five years old and my son, Micah Merrill, is five. Last year he was in Mrs. Debbie's room just like I was as a child! Over the summer he was in Camp Caterpillar and is now in Miss. Laura’s room. He has played soccer and he will be in as many other sports as possible in coming years.  Micah loves to swim just like I did when I was his age and we are planning on registering him for swimming lessons as well.
Within every activity that I was involved in at the Marietta Family YMCA there was a sense of the Core Values. I learned to Care for others and their feelings. I learned to Respect others and their differences in values. I learned to be Honest, no matter what. And lastly, the YMCA instilled within me a great understanding of how to accept responsibility. All four of these Core Values of the YMCA really are my core values and I hope that my son will also learn these values from not only me, but from the YMCA as well. The YMCA is a place of learning, exercising and growing socially. I would not be the person that I am today without the heart of our community, the Marietta Family YMCA.”
The Y is for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Ashley, and many others in our community, have made the Y and its core values a major part of their day-to-day life. Ashley and her family are a wonderful success story of how the Y is strengthening our community; one family at a time.
Marietta Family YMCA
300 N 7th St, Marietta, OH 45750
(740) 373-2250
©2018 Marietta Family YMCA