YW Staff Profile: Deryck Roberts

YW Staff Profile: Deryck Roberts

 

Job Title:

Fitness Coordinator

 

Where did you attend school / what did you study?

I graduated from Becker College with a degree in Business and a concentration in Sports Management.

 

How long worked at the YW:

One month

 

What are your favorite workouts or fitness routine?

Leg workouts and running on the treadmill before I workout.

 

What song empowers you?

Any Jay-z song

 

What is your favorite part about the Fitness Center?

I love that the fitness facility is newly renovated and ready for workouts.

 

Who inspires you?

My mother, brother, and sisters.

 

What’s your favorite quote?

“I walk into every room as myself. I don’t walk in any room as anyone else. I’m not cowering, I’m not speaking soft, my voice doesn’t change – it sounds exactly the same way. I’m walking as myself and proud and I speak for us and that gives me a joy.” Jay-z

 

What advice do you want to share with your peers about being a member of the YWCA family?

The YWCA brings a family feel. We really concentrate on the connection between everyone- whether you’re an employee or a member.

 

What does the YWCA mean to you?

The YWCA, to me, means opportunity. A place where you can really explore who you are, who you want to be.

 

YW Staff Profile: Alfee Westgroves

YW Staff Profile: Alfee Westgroves

 

Job Title:

Women’s Health Specialist

 

Where did you attend school / what did you study?

I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Worcester State University.

 

How long worked at the YW:

 2 years

 

What are your favorite workouts or fitness routine?

I have earned a green belt in Tang Soo Do karate. I also love to dance and think Zumba is a great workout.

 

What song empowers you?

The first half of the Hamilton Soundtrack or some 80s jam.

 

What is your favorite part about the Fitness Center?

 There’s something for my whole family.

 

Who inspires you?

Beyoncé has amazing movement and stamina.

 

What’s your favorite quote?

“Get in the way and get in good trouble, necessary trouble…seek justice for all.”- John Lewis

 

What advice do you want to share with your peers about being a member of the YWCA family?

It means a lot to me to feel so supported as an employee and an individual. It feels awesome to be able to follow my passion at work every day.

 

What does the YWCA mean to you?

A place where I can do work I truly believe in, where I know my work empowers others and helps better the community.

 

YW Staff Profile: John Dwinell

YW Staff Profile: John Dwinell

Job Title:

Aquatics Coordinator

Where did you attend school / what did you study?

Worcester State College and UMass Amherst

How long have worked at the YW?:

4 years

What are your favorite workouts or fitness routine?

  • Swimming
  • 200 yards of kicking with fins warm up
  • 200 yards Breast Stroke
  • 200 yards Side Stroke
  • 200 yards of Flutter Kick w/board
  •  Underwater swim

What song empowers you?

  • Cum On Feel The Noize-Quiet Riot
  • American Storm-Bob Segar
  • Under Pressure-Queen
  • Toes-Zac Brown Band

What is your favorite part about the Fitness Center?

The new facility is a breath of fresh air for the Strength and Cardio area of the YWCA. The new equipment is easy to use and understand and there is something here for all fitness levels. Having a new floor and lighting as well as having the ability to control the temperature of the Fitness Studios is a huge plus.

Who inspires you?

My mother and father. They were both great influences on my life. Both were people who enjoyed the outdoors and brought us exploring. They could make the most out of simple things. Both of them gave their children a love for nature as well as instilling a passion to help others through civic duty.

What is your favorite quote?

“The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed” Captain Jacques Yves Cousteau

What advice do you want to share with your peers about being a member of the YWCA family?

Enjoy every minute of it. Without knowing, you are making a difference in the lives of others.

What does the YWCA mean to you?

Community- working with others for a greater good. A chance to pass knowledge on to others be it working with my peers or in the pool teaching swimming and lifeguarding. Through the working with others, I find myself becoming a better person.

YW Staff Profile: Jermoh Kamara

YW Staff Profile: Jermoh Kamara

Job Title:

Director, Wellness and Health Equity

How long worked at the YW?:

Started September 8th, 2020

Where did you attend school / what did you study?

Providence College- BS in Health Policy and Management; BA in Community Health

New York Medical College – Master’s in Public Health; Certified Health Education Specialist

What are your favorite workouts or fitness routine?

I enjoy strength and intense workouts so my favorite workouts are Snatches and deadlift.

What song empowers you?

Any African or Caribbean music that comes on Pandora.

What is your favorite part about the Fitness Center?

Our staff does an exceptional job at cleaning as it pertains to the COVID regulation for gyms. The fitness facility close for two hours during the day to deep clean so that it is safe for our members. We want members to know that we are on top of cleaning so that they can feel comfortable to come in to use our facility.

Who inspires you?

Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, and the Dalai Lama.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson

What advice do you want to share with your peers about being a member of the YWCA family?

There is nowhere else that I can think of to start up with your fitness goals other than the YWCA. A membership at the YWCA grants access to our new fitness facility, group classes, and our pool. What we offer is exceptional and our affordable prices cannot be compared especially with our location being in the heart of downtown Worcester. It is the place to include in your everyday plans for nurturing a healthy lifestyle.

 What does the YWCA mean to you?

I am excited about the role I am in because I look forward to making the YWCA a home away from home. From the programs and services we offer, to the people I work with, and the members that come to the YWCA to use the wellness facility, I want everyone to feel at home when they come to the YWCA.

Young Parents Program Holiday Party

Smiles filled the room as YWCA Central Massachusetts’ Young Parents Program members gathered on December 12 for their annual holiday.  Each mother was gifted a variety of gifts to bring home for their children. Gifts were donated by several members of the Worcester community including our friends from the Department of Early Education and Care.

The Young Parents Program supports pregnant and parenting teens between the ages of 14 and 24 as they navigate motherhood and continue their educational journey. The program offers childcare, case management, life and parenting skills training, job search assistance, career exploration while they prepare for the HiSET.

The Young Parents Program is always in need of volunteers, supplies and technology donations. To give, please contact the YPP Director at 508-767-2505, ext. 3073 or email her at jdiaz@ywcacm.org.

 

Girls Promoting Safety December Newsletter

Girls Promoting Safety Newsletter:

December 2019

GPS (Girls Promoting Safety) have been discussing and engaging in various activities since the beginning of the school year. Here are a few of the topics that have been addressed.

COMMUNICATION

One of the first things students talked about in GPS was assertiveness. We discussed the definition of assertiveness, and how it requires a balance of being upfront about your own wants and needs, while also being respectful about the needs of others. Assertiveness can also be empowering because seeing someone stand up for themselves and clearly communicate their needs can inspire others to do the same.

GPS learn communication skills

We asked the girls to complete a survey to see how assertive they were, with questions such as “I ask my friends for a favor when I need one” and “When people hurt my feelings, I let them know how I feel”. This activity helped students explore their own assertiveness. Some felt like they were already confident enough to speaking up for themselves, while others realized it was something they need to work on.

To see what assertiveness looks like in real life, we did an activity where students got the chance to be on a panel and respond to scenarios that would require them to make potentially difficult decisions, such as:

“Today at lunch, I went to sit down at my normal table with my friends. When I sat down, nobody talked to me – and they ignored me for all of lunch! I have no idea what I did. I didn’t say anything at lunch because I felt uncomfortable, what should I do now?”

Students came up with creative ways to navigate these tricky situations, and talked about how important it is to stand up for yourself in their day to day life.

Healthy Relationships
Friendships, Family and Dating

We also talked with students the importance of healthy relationships and having a good support system. We asked them to talk about what are healthy and unhealthy qualities that make a healthy relationship. Some of the healthy qualities students brought up were honesty, communication, support, and respect. Some of the unhealthy qualities brought up were lies, disrespect, unsupportive and putting you down.

One of the activity students participated in when learning about healthy relationships was the “Talk Show Activity”, each student got the chance to be a “teen expert” on a talk show, and give advice on a number of different friendship scenarios that the audience would ask them, such as:

“A friend of mine has not been talking to me much lately. We have been best friends for more than two years. She is spending more time with another girl lately. I feel hurt and mad, but still wish she would be my friend. What should I do?”

“Lately, girls that I am friends with have stopped talking to me when we are in our friend group. Yet when they are on their own, they are friendly to me. What should I do?”

Student explored the ways they deal with situations and what kind of advice they give to their friends. It gave them a chance to reflect on their past and current friendships, and how they were already healthy or could be made stronger.


Girls Promoting Safety (GPS)
GPS is a strength-based violence prevention education program that uses evidence-based curricula to teach middle-school girls the resiliency skills needed to avoid being victims of violence and promote healthy relationships.  Learn more!