News Archives - South Sound YMCA

LIVESTRONG is returning to the Briggs YMCA in 2023!

LIVESTRONG is a program that creates a welcoming community in which cancer survivors can improve their strength and physical fitness, diminish the severity of therapy side effects, develop supportive relationships, and improve their quality of life.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a small-group physical activity and well-being program which meets at the YMCA twice a week for 12 weeks for 90 minutes each session. Since 2007, the LIVESTRONG® Foundation has been Y-USA’s partner in developing and delivering LIVESTRONG at the YMCA. The program offers people affected by cancer a safe, supportive environment to participate in physical and social activities focused on strengthening the whole person. Participants work with Y staff trained in supportive cancer care to achieve such goals as:

  • building muscle mass and strength
  • increasing flexibility and endurance
  • improving balance
  • improving confidence and self-esteem
  • improving emotional wellbeing of survivors and their families
  • connecting with other survivors during treatment and beyond.

For questions about the LIVESTRONG program, email Lesli Baker at bakerl@ssymca.net.

Our hot tub is a hot topic!

We understand the hot tub is an important and vital part of your aquatic experience and regret that it is currently unavailable.

Several months ago, when COVID guidelines were eased and Y leadership was comfortable we could operate it safety, we filled the hot tub and turned the system back on. What we thought would be a simple process ended up being much more complicated. As it turns out inactivity hasn’t been kind to the numerous components, many of these being original and custom fabricated.

Staff have been working diligently for the past few months working with our contractors to source new components and secure work permits to perform a full rebuild of the hot tub.

The good news is that our contractor has most of the parts they need to perform the work. We are still waiting on one key part before that work can be scheduled. We are optimistic we are close!

If YOU are a fan/user of the hot tub and would like to be kept up to date on specific repairs and timelines, send me an email with ‘HOT TUB FANATIC’ in the subject line and I will add you to the list! When I get news, I will share it with you.

Thanks for your patience!

– Jake Grater, graterj@ssmyca.net

MEET KOLANYE BYKOFF – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

[OLYMPIA, WA – August 19, 2022] — PLEASE JOIN US IN WELCOMING KOLANYE TO OUR COMMUNITY!

Over the course of Kolanye’s nonprofit career she has spent eighteen years working for YMCAs in Whatcom, Pierce, and Kitsap Counties. During this time, her roles and titles have changed, but her focus on fostering youth voice, program innovation, and developing creative partnerships have remained at the center of her work.

One example of Kolanye’s visionary work, is the creation of a public-private partnership between the Y and Franklin-Pierce School District to supplement the district’s music, library, and physical education programs. Her success here led her to pursue a teaching degree at Pacific Lutheran University which she put to work teaching middle school. Most recently, Kolanye provided enriching educational programming for incarcerated youth at Echo Glen Children’s Center.

As Executive Director of Youth Development in the South Sound Y, Kolanye will utilize all her experience and skills to create more equitable outcomes for youth and families in our region.  

Please join our Y in welcoming Kolanye Bykoff to the South Sound! Reach out to Kolanye at bykoffk@ssymca.net.

CLAUDIA SUASTEGUI TO LEAD THE Ys MASON COUNTY BRANCH

[SHELTON, WA – September 1, 2022] — PLEASE JOIN US IN WELCOMING CLAUDIA TO OUR COMMUNITY!

The Y is thrilled to announce the new Director of the Shelton Family YMCA – Claudia Suastegui. Through a very deliberate search and selection process with numerous outstanding candidates, Claudia rose to the top through her natural relationship-building skills, positivity, and ability to break down walls by focusing on common experiences

Claudia comes to us from the Caldwell Branch of the Treasure Valley Family YMCA in southwest Idaho, where she is currently the Youth Development Director. She loves the Y, where she says she feels a sense of belonging. Throughout her 20-year career with the Treasure Valley Y, Claudia served in a variety of roles and was instrumental in the opening of the Caldwell Branch in 2005.

A graduate of Boise State University, Claudia began her pre-Y career as a social worker with Terry Reilly Health Services, where she worked with migrant families connecting them to critical services, building community, and developing trust. An immigrant herself, Claudia became a US Citizen in 1995.

After her recent visits and meetings with volunteers and staff, Claudia sees that “this community has everything it needs to thrive – deep roots, a beautiful environment, and a willingness to help one another”. Claudia and her family look forward to calling Shelton home.

Claudia’s first official day with our YMCA is Tuesday, September 6th. Please give her a call, shoot her an email, or stop by the Y to welcome her to our community!

suasteguic@ssymca.net | 360.918.0304

KYESHIA LIKELY WILL EXPAND PARTNERSHIPS & SERVICES THROUGH THE Y 

[OLYMPIA, WA – September 23, 2022] — PLEASE JOIN US IN WELCOMING KYESHIA TO OUR COMMUNITY!

The Y is excited to welcome Kyeshia Likely as our Executive Director of Community Engagement. This new role in the organization is focused on developing innovative approaches to service delivery through deep stakeholder engagement and co-creation of programs. Additional focus will be on the creation of organizational policies and structures that remove barriers and foster equity and inclusion for all.

Kyeshia sees herself as an empowering leader with a passion for developing relationships and advocating for the needs of people most impacted by systemic structures of oppression. She began her career as an AmeriCorps volunteer where she served communities in the Greater Seattle area. During this time, she supported school retention efforts, access to basic needs, and mentorship programs.

Most recently, Kyeshia put her community-building skills to work through youth programs at a Seattle-based nonprofit, Choose180. A highlight of her time there was forming a youth-led advocacy division which supported young people around Washington State in drafting and learning about community policy reforms.

As Executive Director of Community Engagement in the South Sound YMCA, Kyeshia is determined to form stronger community bonds that will create a platform for all voices to be heard, especially young voices.

Kyeshia will join the Y team on Monday, September 26th! Please join us in welcoming her to our amazing South Sound community! Reach out to Kyeshia at likelyk@ssymca.net.