On October 16, 2018, LIVE from Seattle, YMCA of the USA’s Emerging Leaders Resource Network announced the honorees of the inaugural class of 30 young YMCA professionals under the age of 30 who are making an impact on the YMCA movement and represent our future leadership!
We could not be more proud of this amazing class of young talent, especially Summit Area YMCA’s very own, Stephy Olickal, Staff Accountant & Executive Assistant, who was selected as an ‘30 Under 30’ Young Leader Award recipient from more than 230 nominees from 80 associations across the nation.
COMMITMENT TO DIG
Stephy started working at the Summit Area YMCA as a swim instructor when she was seventeen years old. Soon after, she found herself providing private swim lessons to disabled children. Working with these children opened her eyes to all that her Y did for the community. Once Stephy graduated from Montclair State University with an accounting degree, she decided to take her career full time with my YMCA, instead of looking for a job in the public accounting sector. Stephy says she is glad she made that decision as she feels like she is working for a purpose and working towards meeting the goals for a better community. Stephy’s supervisors encouraged her to practice her passion outside of her daily job by allowing her to attend a mission trip to Haiti where she worked at an orphanage to provide care for disabled children. This was such an uplifting experience that Stephy was encouraged to become a volunteer at “Sundays in Motion.” This is a Special Needs Programs at the Y designed for children with communication, social, behavioral and learning differences to thrive in a safe, friendly and supportive environment. The Summit Area YMCA is also the first Global Center of Excellence within the State of New Jersey. Through this, Stephy was able to deeply understand the need in communities she serves through supporting cultural events held at her YMCA (Diwali, Holi, Lunar New Year, etc.). Stephy works closely with our Board of Trustees and encourages them to attend our Diversity, Inclusion and Global Innovation Network (DIG) events and explore courses that are offered by the Y-USA.
Stephy Olickal (pictured left) with SAY colleagues at a recent YMCA Annual Campaign Event
COMMITMENT TO THE Y
Stephy was also able to inspire many teens and young adults through sharing her experiences in Haiti. Stephy’s next goal is to build a partnership with the Haiti YMCA so teens at her Y can experience what she did though service trips.
COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY
Stephy has a strong desire for the betterment of the children in her community. Her work allows them to thrive in a safe, friendly and supportive environment. From volunteering at a local food bank to creating care packages for the homeless, Stephy strives to bring joy into other’s lives and ease their struggles, which alone is a huge impact.
Stephy Olickal (left) volunteering with SAY colleagues at a recent YMCA Charity Auction Event
President and CEO of Summit Area YMCA Paul Kieltyka adds “Stephy has always exhibited the core values of the Y to her colleagues, our members and the community. Underneath her ever-present smile, is a work ethic and intelligence that has helped the Summit Area Y reach new heights in the communities we serve. I truly believe the best is yet to come for Stephy, who clearly has the capacity and desire to have an amazing career advancing our mission here at the Y. We celebrate this well-deserved achievement and look forward to assisting her grow in her life path.”
The Emerging Leaders Resource Network is a community that exists to deepen the commitment, connection, and above all passion next generation leaders have for the Y movement. This special group of cause-driven leaders represent the very best our Movement has to offer – fiercely committed to strengthening community through their daily work to create safe spaces where people from all walks of life, across multiple dimensions of diversity, can come together to learn, grow and work toward solutions to some of the most pressing social issues facing our nation and world. Their passion for advancing the Y’s organizational commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity for all is admirable. We’re thankful for everything these young leaders have all done and will continue to do in the name of the Y to build a better future for our communities.
To learn more about the Summit Area YMCA and its DIG efforts please visit www.thesay.org/DIG.
About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable non-profit organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Millburn, Springfield, Short Hills, Summit, Gillette, and Stirling. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need.