As a clinical physiology major at Central Washington University, Daniel found himself needing some practical experience in order to wrap up his pre-med studies. Unsure of where to find this, he sought the input of his academic advisor, who recommended that Daniel contact the YMCA. "I came to the Y to get something for myself, but I ended up leaving with more than I could have anticipated," Daniel reports.
This "more" he refers to began through an internship at the Lakewood Family YMCA, where Daniel worked one-on-one with members in the FitPath program, evaluating members fitness needs and creating individualized 12-week workout plans to address them. "The atmosphere at the Y is completely different," Daniel explains when comparing the Y community to other for-profit gyms. He accredits the sense of family and community at the Y for the inspiration that cemented his decision to pursue a career built around helping people achieve their fitness goals. "FitPath totally allows that to happen, in a natural, organic way," he says.
Daniel now works at the University Y Student Center helping members becoming oriented to FitPath, as well as recently being promoted to building supervisor. "The end goal (that I am learning) is not about how much money you make, but about the relationships and communal support that is fostered during that process," he explains. It's a statement that perfectly encapsulates the mission and the values that are the very heartbeat of the YMCA.