It Take a Family to Raise Our Children
The Y is committed to nurturing the potential of youth. In order to do that, good role models are needed. Fortunately for our community, we have families like the Hunzekers. Three Hunzeker siblings—Clarissa, Miranda, and Erika—have led our youth as counselors in Y Day Camp and Child Care programming—five years, three years, and 14 months, respectively.
This summer, they’re working side by side.
Why the Y? “I like how much the Y gives back to the community,” said Erika. Clarissa added, “I enjoy knowing that I’m helping children learn about Y values and other important things.” Miranda shared, “Every day is a new adventure. There are so many unique personalities in the kids in our program. It’s fun to be around them and teach them values they will use someday. I will definitely use this leadership experience in my future profession someday, as well.”
Erika said she feels the Y creates a healthy and supportive environment for their staff, as well. “I love Gretchen [Stanger, Program Director] and Cyndi [Doerr, Waukee Elementary Site Supervisor]. If I ever need something, or want to talk, they always respond. The connections you form at camp, with not only the kids, but also the staff, are special.”
“I’ve really been impressed as I’ve seen this family interact in our community, not just the Y,” said Eric Kress, Executive Director. “I also have personally witnessed their impact through my 7-year-old daughter. One day on the way home from after-school programming, my daughter shared that she and Miss Erika were not just friends, but great friends, because Miss Erika always talked to her and called her by name. It meant a lot to me, as a father, to hear about relationships like that being formed.”
All three Hunzeker siblings are or will be Waukee High School alumni—Clarissa in 2012, Miranda in 2014, and Erika in 2016. Clarissa is starting her first year of pharmacy school at Creighton University. Miranda just finished her first year at Graceland University and is pursuing a career in pediatric nursing. Erika anticipates studying psychology and human resources at Creighton.
This summer’s Y Day Camp programming focuses on relationships, belonging, and achievement. The program is specifically concentrating on achievement through water safety, sports, and exercise by using the Waukee YMCA facility and its staff leadership.
To learn more about Y Day Camp, child care, or any of the Y’s other youth program opportunities and services, visit the Y or its website, www.dmymca.org.
If you’re interested in working at the Y, you can browse current job vacancies at www.dmymcajobs.org.