Marsha’s Story

“I am Y” tells the stories of Y members and staff and the transformative power of community. This is Marsha’s story:

“There is a sense of belonging when you are at the Y. It is its own community. My first job was as a counselor in the preschool summer program. Thirty-seven years later, I’m still here because I love my work. I look with pride at my Y career. Every day, I wake up excited to come to work.

“I’m proud when I think about the impact of the work that I do in collaboration with everyone here. We are making a difference in the lives of the children and families in our community. We work with families to strengthen everybody, not just the child.

“The beautiful thing about children is that they don’t have preconceived ideas or notions, they just have friends. I think they realize that some kids do things differently. Children simply accept that. At an early age, we nurture that acceptance, and the idea that, though we may be different, we’re also the same in so many ways. When children get that at a young age, it’s special. Imagine what that means for them as they get their start in life, start socializing, and get to know others. The impact is profound.

“The all-important thing we work on with children is empathy. There is a level of acceptance that they gain at a very early age. I think that’s extremely powerful. It’s where we have the opportunity to make the biggest difference. That’s why I’m still here after 37 years.”

-Marsha Faryniarz, Senior VP, Greater Burlington YMCA

The Y is here for you. Join us at the new Y, opened January 2020:


Pomerleau Family Y
298 College Street
Burlington, VT 05401
802 862 9622 (YMCA)

Camp Abnaki
1252 Abnaki Road
North Hero, VT
802 372 9622 (YMCA)

Additional Program Sites
in Vermont

Franklin, Grand Isle, Washington and Chittenden Counties