“I am Y” Stories

People are at the heart of what makes Vermont such an incredible place to live. At the Y, we see and support people from a cross-section of the community, each helping to make our Y a place that is as special as the communities we serve.

We created “#IamY” as a social media campaign to help tell our story through the experiences of members, program families, and staff. We are fortunate to play a part in the lives of the 14 people and families we will highlight – they truly represent what is best about the Y.

Stay connected through our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts as we add stories in the weeks ahead.


As a new mom, if you’re not working outside the home, it can be isolating. Going to the Y was huge for me. It’s where Lillian and I connected. Today, we’re part of a whole community of parents.

Hilary Stanton-Geddes


 Click here to read more.


“I moved to Vermont from the Congo nine years ago. Two years later, I joined the Y. The Y helps me to reduce stress and relax after a long day at work. The Y is the best – a place where you can meet some great people and work on yourself with the help of others.”

-Flori Zabili


Click here to read more.


“I joined the Y in 1942. I have been a member for almost 80 years! Though the world has changed a lot, the Y’s values remain consistent: the mission to serve our community, be a center for our community, and help people in our community.”

-Willard Smith


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“The Y is so much more than a gym. It’s community. You see the work-out fanatic and the 85-year-old grandmother. Seeing everyone exercise together is pretty inspiring. We joined the Y, and today we’re in the best shape of our lives. As a family, we’re helping our daughter build a foundation for a healthy lifestyle.”

Bryce Youngquist

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“When I was 18, a bicycle accident left me with a traumatic brain injury. Today, when I swim at the Y, I feel free. It’s a freedom my body doesn’t give a lot of. Everyone here helped me. They are here for me. I feel safe here. I feel like me here.”

Anna King


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“Child care at the Y has that community feel. It’s not only your child – they care for your entire family. It’s everything your child needs for their overall wellbeing. It feels like a home base.”

Jasmine Robinson


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“My first year at the Y, I lost 50 pounds – and I have kept it off ever since. I consider my Y membership not only an investment in my own health, but in the health of the community.”

Stephanie Clarke



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“In many ways, the Y is our home away from home. There are times when all four of us are together in a class. Here, our daughters meet people of all ages, professions, and walks of life. The Y pulls people together in that way. It makes me feel part of a bigger community.”

David Reville


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“We discovered a passion for water games at the Y almost 20 years ago, and we’re still doing it. We don’t like to get up early, but we wake up for that class because we know our buddies are going to be there. What we love about the Y is that we have friends there. We look for them and they look for us.”

Fran and Dave Mount


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“We are part of a core group that works out together. Sometimes it’s yoga; sometimes it’s spinning. Sometimes it’s something completely new and different. What remains the same is that we are exercising among a friendly group of people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities.”

Michael Gilman


Click here to read more.



“At the Y, everyone is looking out for each other. Everyone here has your back. And, when you have your father in front of you, helping you, working with you, it’s motivational.”

Nathan Bean


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“I joined the Y because I was feeling old. I have done lots of work on flexibility and posture with Ryan. He is one of the best listeners I’ve ever met. He is there for me. Today, I feel stronger, slightly straighter, and more graceful.”

Alan Rubin, MD


Click here to read more.


“I love the competition of swimming. With Jacsen coaching me, I keep improving and dropping my times. I made Y nationals two years in a row, and now I’m training for the Olympic trials while applying to college.”

Maggie Desmond



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“The 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 later.”

Marsha Faryniarz, Senior VP, Greater Burlington YMCA

Click here to read more.


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