Always a bigger


Gabriel Esparza

The YMCA is a positive community that shapes, develops and enriches the individuals within it.  What is so amazing about this community is that there is something for everyone and it is an organization for all.  Although it’s constantly evolving, the heart of its mission and leaders have remained the same.  This is why it continues to stay strong.

I have learned a deeper meaning of the word community. To me it means to serve and put others first.  Through the Y, I learned that there is always a bigger picture and something very special when individuals with unique backgrounds have the chance to come together in one place.

Specifically, the White Rock YMCA has been a wonderful gift for my family and me.  At the age of approximately five, I remember being alongside my father when he signed up so I could go to summer camp. Little did I know this summer camp would be where I spent the next five summers and this Y would be one of the most significant building blocks for my life. I have witnessed the White Rock YMCA change locations four times. It grew from a house with a backyard pool to a multi-million dollar facility. It has been the greatest gift to see it all unfold before my eyes.

This is the community that has shaped me from the small five year old into the 22-year old person I am today.  I am a direct product of this organization and its mission.  Through it, I learned how to swim, play soccer and basketball and feel part of a community at a young age.  The Y employed me in my teen years, as a soccer referee, lifeguard, and swimming instructor.  As an adult, I have been hired as a Make-A-Splash supervisor and currently a membership specialist representative. Throughout college, I have always been able to come back to this family and work. Through these opportunities, the YMCA built my work ethic, commitment, leadership and communication skills. 

My relationship with the White Rock YMCA has grown from recipient, to me still being able to receive, but also for me to give back to it. I am proud to be part of this YMCA for the last 22 years – it has given me a strong sense of self. I would not be who I am today without it.  It is my hope that every individual who wants to be part of the White Rock YMCA, is given a chance to be part of this nurturing family.