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October 18, 2023 9 mins
In his youth, David Brown spent his time learning how to swim at his local YMCA. Then, as a teenager, David started working at the YMCA as a janitor and health club attendant, scrubbing down the showers, cleaning equipment, etc.Once he graduated from Roberts Wesleyan University in Rochester, he began looking for a job. Fortunately for him, his neighbor was the CEO of the YMCA where he grew up and helped refer him to a YMCA in Rochester that had an opening for a Youth Director, a position he immediately fell in love with.He enjoyed working at the YMCA, not only for the membership but also for the camaraderie he found working in after-school programs, summer camps, and other YMCA experiences. These activities were a blast, but he soon realized the fun wasn't the only purpose of the organization. In short, David explains that the Y is for "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility". There are numerous programs they offer that aim to help strengthen the community from all perspectives, whether it be by offering childcare services, leadership development programs, or other helpful services for the Capital Region.David's work in the community makes it obvious that the YMCA is a necessary organization for the well-being of locals. Recently, they have helped set up housing for 165 men in Schenectady, and for 65 seniors. Some community issues the Capital Region YMCA assists with include food insecurity; diversity, equity, and inclusion; helping new immigrants assimilate, and not to mention giving them supplies and resources to help ease their transition. For David, it is extremely rewarding to see the difference they make, especially considering the YMCA is largely volunteer based.The pandemic really made it obvious how necessary the YMCA is to the community because that time of uncertainty created such a need for assistance. David delves into how his organization had to pivot quickly and respond "to the needs that are critical to people today"-- words he continues to live by. He explains how for-profit companies might cater to what their stakeholders prefer, but for the YMCA, the stakeholders are the community.Still a youth director at heart, David has been humbled to see what an impact the YMCA has had on upcoming generations. He foresees that in 10 years' time, the YMCA will continue to respond to the needs of the community, just on a larger scale, expanding the YMCA's footprint in the Capital Region.David Brown is a CEO You Should Know!
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