Sheridan County YMCA

Azia worked in the weight room and the Activate Sheridan Center during the summer months of 2010. While working in the weight room Azia assisted the beginner exerciser in learning the equipment so they felt comfortable being in that environment. She also kept the equipment clean. Azia's greatest accomplishment in the weight room is her ability to build relationships with the members. Those relationships are so important because feeling a part of a community is what continues to bring the members in and stay. She was excellent at making people feel welcomed and a part of the group.

Azia spent a great deal of time in the Activate Sheridan Center, which is a facility for the beginner exerciser, the seniors and the youth. She basically worked during times when the beginner and senior population was in the room. As mentioned above, Azia had the ability to start a conversation with anyone and make them feel at home. In fact, people today are still asking where Azia is. She would teach the members how to use the equipment, but her main job was to get the person feeling comfortable with exercising so that they would want to keep coming back. I think the majority of people continued to come back because they enjoyed Azia so much. She always had a smile on her face and she never seemed to judge a person because of their color, size, income, literacy or fitness level.

There is an elderly lady in the class who uses a walker. She was very dependent on me and didn't think that Azia was going to be able to do the job. I had special exercises for her to do since she wasn't able to do all of the strength machines. She kept saying how sad she was that I would not be there anymore and she just knew that Azia would not work out. When Azia began, she immediately took a liking to Helen. Azia always called her Miss Helen and took extra time with her. Helen fell in love with her, and I know a longer relationship existed! Even now that Azia is gone, Helen periodically asks about her and wonders how she is doing.

Azia also covered shifts for many people during her time in the weight room and the Activate Sheridan Center. She was always willing to take a shift if someone was sick or had an emergency. She just enjoyed being around people and that's what the Y is all about.