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Meet YMCA Staff: Shayla & Nick

 

For Nick Wagenius and Shayla Kelly, the Missoula Family YMCA is more than a job—it’s a place to grow, thrive, and change lives. Both Wagenius and Kelly are camp counselors, but soon they’ll step on as the YMCA’s new Youth Program Coordinators.

The Youth Program Coordinator roles might be new, but Wagenius and Kelly are well-versed in the Y’s work.

“Growing up in Missoula, I spent a lot of time at the Y as a child,” said Kelly. “Five or six years ago, I was looking for a job and someone suggested that I apply to be a Y camp counselor. For me, it’s been a great fit. I love working with kids and helping them feel heard and helping them see their own potential.”

Wagenius, on the other hand, started at the Y as a volunteer through its Active 6 program. From there, he transitioned to a camp counselor before being promoted to a lead camp counselor. Wagenius even completed an internship with the Y in 2020.

“The internship really helped me grow my professional resume, and I’m looking forward to continuing to grow my leadership skills in the coordinator role,” said Wagenius.

Adds Kelly, “My degree is in management, and so I’m really excited to step into this coordinator role and develop my administrative skills while continuing to provide safe, caring environments for Missoula kids.”

Both Wagenius and Kelly agree that the Y’s positive environment and helping Missoula youth are what keeps them engaged.

“In every program I’ve been a part of, there’s always one kid who’s just not interested,” said Wagenius. “You get a positive volunteer or counselor in there and their enthusiasm changes the entire dynamic. That reluctance disappears and suddenly this kid who wasn’t excited at first is now fully engaged.”

Eli Catton (Director of Youth Development) and Tyler Taylor (Director of School Age Programs) who supervise the pair are equally as excited. “Nick and Shayla have done incredible work during their time at the Y. It’s been amazing to watch both of them grow, and we’re thrilled for the next chapter of their Y journey,” they said in a combined statement.

“We love helping develop community leaders like Nick and Shayla. For people wanting to get involved at the Y and make a difference for Missoula youth, we encourage them to check out our volunteer opportunities and job postings at ymcamissoula.org.”

 

Category: Staff