The following article was submitted by the Wilton Family Y in appreciation for the eight Wilton High School seniors who spent their senior internships working there.

Interning for the Wilton Family YMCA opens a window of career opportunities.  The Wilton Family YMCA allows high school interns to be part of one of the most respected human services organizations in the world, where they can positively influence the lives of others, apply their experience, knowledge, creativity and energy, and build their resume while discovering new talents.  This year the Wilton Family YMCA welcomed eight high school seniors who worked side-by-side with Wilton Family YMCA staff as their mentors to enhance skills and prepare them for the future.

Twins Eamonn and Wogan Hanrahan, who will be attending Pacific University to study exercise science, interned in the Fitness department. As Fitness Interns, Eamonn and Wogan worked alongside fitness directors in facilitating wellness best practices with YMCA members; learning how to assist members to safely achieve their goals. They observed fitness staff assess the needs and capabilities of members through fitness assessments and advised individuals on the correct method and use of exercise machines to provide a safe environment in the fitness center.

Interning in our after school program, Chris Hamilton was part of a nurturing and caring staff team that is there to help youth learn, grow and thrive in a healthy environment by providing physical activity opportunities and healthy eating options. He also assisted in implementing the daily agenda for the after school program. Chris will be attending Keene State College to study Criminal Justice in the fall.

Jon Ward, played an integral part of the Y’s early childhood department serving as an intern in a preschool classroom. He quickly learned that he was part of an organization that families count on to teach their children life values at a young age – caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. He was responsible for keeping the children safe and engaging them in various activities such as art lessons, games to promote physical activity, swim programs, literacy and more. Jon is attending Sacred Heart University next year for college.

Teaching children how to be safe around water in not a luxury; it is a necessity. Derek Benison, Aquatics intern, assisted certified Y aquatics staff in teaching swimming lessons to members and the young swimmers from our nursery school making sure they learn the essentials of water safety skills. Derek also helped set up the pond and beach for the summer, ordered aquatic supplies and conducted some basic administrative tasks. Derek will be attending Chapman University in the fall.

Cayla Clarke, as a membership front desk intern, was directly responsible for providing the highest quality service to members and the community while demonstrating a personal commitment to the mission of the YMCA. Cayla had to learn information about the many programs we offer in order to effectively communicate to members at the Y, communicate in a friendly and a courteous manner when answering the 8-line phone system, transferring calls, and taking messages, and ensure that all members and guests are properly checking in at the member service desk when using the Wilton Family YMCA facility. Cayla will be a student at NCC in the fall.

Lexo Walker and Hugo Sykes interned for the Wilton Y Wahoos swim team – which is not unfamiliar territory for them, both Lexo and Hugo are swimmers on the team. During their time interning for the Wilton Y Wahoos Lexo and Hugo supported the swim team on various administrative support functions such as answering phone inquiries, providing friendly and courteous assistance to parents of Wilton Y Wahoo swimmers, supporting a safe, clean environment for staff, volunteers and swimmers, and organizing file systems. Lexo will be attending college at Columbia University and Hugo will be attending University of Denver where he will be a member of their swim team.

Each High School intern at the Wilton Family YMCA gained hands-on valuable work experience, exposure to professional challenges in a real workplace, and the opportunity to network with the YMCA staff and members. Each intern increased the quality of service and programs made available to our members and the community. These eight high school interns really impressed all staff and members at the Wilton Family YMCA with their enthusiasm, commitment and team work – they did make our Y a better place.