Through trial and error, I have finally reached my first blog for my internship at the Coal Creek Family YMCA! First, I should introduce myself to those unfamiliar with who I am and what I am doing here at Coal Creek. My name is Ryan Bibko, and I am a sport management major from Washington State University. After completing all of my in-class work at Washington State, I have but one class standing in my way between being an undergrad to the prestigious ‘Alumni’ status; my 10-12 week internship. After completing all of my classroom work in the Fall of 2013, I sought an internship opportunity at the Coal Creek Family YMCA. With this internship, I am to demonstrate what I have learned in the classroom and apply it. My true passion is cycling and with that passion in mind, I reached out to Alethia Rodriguez of the Coal Creek Family YMCA. Through the assistance of Alethia, I met with Nicole Haskey. Nicole and I quickly found out that through our passion for cycling, we could offer a unique opportunity to after-school and youth walk-in hour teens who utilize the YMCA.
Currently starting my fourth week, there has been much adjusting on my end to the unique schedule that circles around the teen programs here at the Coal Creek YMCA. Unaware of what an internship might entail, I was prepared for a 9am-5pm job. However, after sitting down with Nicole and discussing opportunities within the Coal Creek YMCA, I discovered I’d be working more afternoon and evening shifts. Through this change, I have been able to utilize my time in the morning for fine-tuning programming opportunities for the cycling program as well as for improving my own personal well-being. My hours span from leaving my house at noon, in order to arrive at the YMCA at 1, until I depart the YMCA around 8pm. Monday through Friday is my usually weekly schedule, with a few variations thrown in. I work within numerous areas: ATB (after school pick-up program with local middle schools), Club Tyee (a community outreach program promoted through the YMCA at a local middle school. Projects and sports are promoted through this program and occurs after tutorial period is out, occurring after school hours), and finally Youth Development Center walk-in hours.
Nicole and I have met with a few other respected local cycling community members through a meeting held on my second week of my internship. Through this meeting, we were able to plan out a road map on which we intend to implement our teen bicycling program here at Coal Creek’s Family YMCA. With introducing opportunities such as teen spin classes, maintenance clinics, safe routes to school/work workshops, and skill clinics aided by local cycling teams, we are positive that we are headed in a positive direction. The goal is not just to get kids familiarized with bicycles, but rather use it as a form of ‘networking’ for the teens. Some might take a love to riding bicycles just as I did at this age, others might use it to find out that they love working on mechanical things, or designing and creating objects similar to bicycles. The intention is not to force anyone to ride a bike, but rather embrace the idea of well-being and living a happy, active lifestyle. Whether that means actively riding a bicycle, or participating in classes, to figuring out a task or job the teens enjoy (such as design, building or maintenance of a mechanical machine which here is a bicycle) to see if it leads them down paths of majors at universities or career choices.
I speak strongly of my first three weeks here at the Coal Creek Family YMCA, and am anxious to see how the program unfolds itself in the coming weeks. The community that is the Coal Creek Family YMCA has been so supportive in me coming in as an intern, and I am so grateful for this opportunity. The sport of cycling is a passion for me, and has taken me many places. Just like I owe so much thanks to the Coal Creek Family YMCA, I owe so much to the sport of cycling. With my personal life experiences in the sport, I know that if I can make one person happy and have opportunities similar to what I experienced through this sport, this lifestyle; then I have done my job.
As the saying goes: If you are not making someones life better every day, you are wasting your time.
Until next time,