Houston S.

Haselwood Family YMCA

Flipping backward off a high-dive platform was barely a challenge for Houston for much of his youth. He seemed destined for a spot on a college dive team in Hawaii before a devastating moped accident in 2014, which made even sitting up in bed the greatest physical test of his life.

“The first people at the hospital were coworkers from the Y in Hawaii,” Houston says.
Houston began working part-time at the Haselwood YMCA aquatics department in 2013. He left early the next year to pursue his dream of diving for a collegiate team. It was at that time his accident derailed his dreams and changed his perspective about the Y.

“When I first started working here, it was just a job for money,” Houston says.

His understanding of the Y changed when he returned to Washington to continue rehab of his knee and hip replacements. The Y was able to provide Houston with a membership so he could recover around people who cared for him.

“Most of the people who worked in the aquatics department were new and didn’t even know me,” he says. “But their [Annual Campaign] donations all went to giving me a membership.”

“Everybody [at the Y] has a story tell, but not everybody knows it,” he says. “I want to help get those stories out.”