Drew W.

Gordon Family YMCA

Sometimes, our life journeys take us many places before we find our path. Such was the case for Drew, Mission Intern at the Gordon Family YMCA. Growing up at the Auburn YMCA, Drew knew he wanted to be a part of Gordon after stepping in soon after the building opened last year.

“I was drawn to the community and the way staff interacted with members. I didn’t know how, but I knew that in some way I really wanted to get on board with this,” he recalls. That winter, Drew was back from school working out next to a man who was having heart palpitations and needed to be helped by medics. Senior Membership Director Nichole Frandanisa saw Drew praying for the man’s recovery, and suggested that he speak with Senior Mission Director Matt Tricola, who hired him as an intern for the department.

Now affectionately known as “Intern Drew” by staff, Drew discovered the importance of faith in his life and dedicated himself to helping others work through difficulty and discover their potential.

“Getting to see other people grow in their own faith and see them realize how important it is in their own lives gives me a lot of joy,” says Drew. “Personally, I was really lost in my life, and when I found my faith I was truly found and my life found meaning.” As a student at Central Washington University, Drew’s faith journey has taken him on mission trips from Uganda to Chicago, and he plans on obtaining his Master’s degree in Divinity in the future. “I want to go into chaplaincy because it’s such a relational field and you get to talk to people from all different backgrounds about finding their own path. It’s really giving back to your community."

When asked if had anything he wanted to share with new members or current members, Drew thinks for a moment. “I would challenge any new members or believers to talk to someone in our mission department if they ever have questions about spirituality or just want somebody to talk with. It is totally a judgement-free zone at the Y. We always need to sharpen all three: spirit, mind and body, and the Y is the perfect place for all of those things,” he says. “Sometimes, spirituality can get pushed to the side for our minds, and it could be because people are afraid to explore it. I would challenge people to always ask questions and learn more about their spirituality. There are people here who are here to learn alongside you. We are an open door for everyone.”