The Y in Central Maryland Blog

Y Associate Shout Outs

As the week wraps up, what better way to roll into the weekend than featuring some outstanding Y associates making it happen every day in every way.  Here are today’s Y Associate Shout Outs!  Enjoy!


Sonja Burns (Group Exercise Instructor, The Orokawa Y in Towson)

Sonja was recently recognized in the voters’ poll of the Best of Baltimore Magazine! This is the third year she has won the award for Best Fitness Instructor, and there are so many great reasons why! In addition to being an uplifting, body-positive group exercise instructor, Sonja regularly mentors new instructors, offers free classes in the community, and volunteers her time, talent, and energy in myriads of local events and expos. (Submitted by Elaine Benner)


Courtney Hamilton (Teacher Assistant, Y Fleming Head Start)

Ms. Courtney worked at Kenwood this summer in our summer camp program. And this woman was on fire! She went above and beyond (providing the class with paper towels, hand soap, taking the children’s sheets home to wash, and paid out of pocket for a trip). She tended to our children’s needs and truly stepped up as a leader. I’m honestly going to miss her when the summer ends!!! (Submitted by Tiffeny Givens)


Rachel Martin (Membership Coordinator, The Greater Annapolis Y in Arnold)

Rachel does an excellent job training new associates in Daxko at the Greater Annapolis Y and Pasadena Y. She follows the training procedures and isn’t afraid to ask questions. I no longer have to drive over 70 miles roundtrip to get to these locations. I am grateful and ever appreciative (and so is my car!) of Rachel’s willingness to help at these two locations. Thank you Rachel! (Submitted by Linda Kohne)


Shane Rajotte (Membership Associate, The Y in Perry Hall)

Shane has faithfully been a part of the Perry Hall team for over four years. He has built wonderful relationships with the members and they look forward to seeing him each day. He is friendly, approachable and always willing to lend an ear or a hand to help out with any situation that anyone might be facing. His dedication to the members and his teammates at Perry Hall is something that all Y associates should aspire to achieve during their career. (Submitted by Katie Essel)


Grant Ranger (Fitness Coach, The Dancel Y in Ellicott City)

In recent months, Grant has taken on additional responsibilities within the fitness department and Dancel. In addition to being a staple as the weekday fitness coach opener, Grant now spends three hours every Friday doing preventative maintenance, repairs, and painting in all fitness areas. He has selflessly painted during closed hours (very early) so that our members do not have to smell wet paint odors while we are open. He embodies the four core values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility and receives regular praise from our members. He makes a difference every day! (Submitted by John Derwent)


Ameka Smith (Anne Arundel County Regional Director, Y Head Start)

Ameka is new to our region and ever since she has joined our team I have seen tremendous improvement in all services areas. She has streamlined many processes to make our region better and most importantly she believe in our team! Thank you for your leadership and guidance! (Submitted by Shatia Jones)


The Y in Pasadena Camp Team

All summer the Pasadena camp team has been making a positive impact on the youth that attend summer camp this year at the Y: from the many hours spent in the pool teaching the kids skills to improving their swim level, to making new friends that will last a lifetime, to the positive impact they have made on the community and the surrounding areas. This is what makes camp so special and it could not have been done without the hard work and dedication from every counselor, leadership associate and swim associate that brought this all together this summer. It takes a special kind of individual to run camp and we had so many on our team at Pasadena. Thank you for your commitment and smiles this summer. Best wishes!  (Submitted by Matt Grenagle)


To submit your Shout Out Nominations, follow this link:  Y Shout Out Nomination Form


All the best,


John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland

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