YMCA FAMILY LEGACY
Carly Dartez, Senior Program Director at the Coppell Family YMCA, writes in to share her Y story. With a long standing history with the Y, Carly has seen the impact the Y has made on her family and her community around her.
"My Y story begins in 1944, right after the war in Cleveland, Ohio, my Grandfather was hired at the YMCA as their “Physical Director”. My Grandfather had a very long and successful YMCA career as the CEO in Akron, Ohio, to CEO in San Francisco, ending his career and retiring as the CEO for the New York City YMCA’s in 1989. My Dad followed in my Grandfathers footsteps, starting his YMCA career in 1981 as “Program Specialist”, running youth sports. I’m proud to say that this year marks 38 years of my Dad working for the YMCA and impacting communities.
Growing up, I participated in every YMCA sport and every team I was a part of, my dad served as my fearless coach. Summer of my sophomore year of high school, when I was planning on having a fun filled summer with friends, my dad comes home and gives me several pieces of paper and tells me to “fill this out and give back to him”. Yes, those papers were the YMCA employment application. To humor him, I filled out some portions of the application and thought he would forget about it. Several days go by and I get a call from the Membership Director at the Northwest Family YMCA, in Tucson, AZ calling to schedule an interview with me, but first needed my reference because my application “seemed to be incomplete”. To make a long story short, I worked at the Y in membership through college, graduated college, moved to Texas, and went to the Y because that felt like “home”. I worked at the Plano Y for four years serving as the Membership and Wellness Director, then blessed to work as Membership Director of the Moody Y for four years and now excited to be Senior Director at the Coppell Y.
I forgot to mention…My parents met at Y (going of 36 years of marriage) my husband and I met at the Y… I’m definitely drinking the Kool-aid of the Y.
My family legacy is only a portion of my Y story and why I work for the Y. I believe working for the YMCA we have the privilege every day to meet and create heroes. A hero is defined as “a person who is admired for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.” Two of my favorite heroes, Alissa Garrett and Jessica Hallet Smith, have impacted my life in ways I can never repay, all because of the Y.
Alissa Garrett and Jessica Hallet Smith- Alissa has been volunteering and working for the YMCA for 20 years. Jessica has been involved with the YMCA starting as a member, then volunteer, now employee- her experience with the Y also is 20 years. Working alongside of both these ladies, has taught me courage, selflessness, humility, patience and caring. They have overcome and accomplished obstacles, as true heroes would. What’s so great about working for the YMCA is that each one of you are heroes to someone, whether it’s to staff, members or participants and we get to help mold and create our future YMCA heroes. We have the opportunity to start legacies, just as my grandfather and dad did for me. That is why I work for the Y!"
Author: Carly Dartez