YMCA All in the Family For New Youth Director
Even the 'y' in Bryan Elsasser's name came from the place his parents worked.
The following was submitted by the Somerset Valley YMCA.
Some parents use a family member as a namesake, others choose a celebrity or historical figure. Mark and Sherry Elsasser chose the Y.
In honor of where they worked, the Elsassers named their son “Bryan” with a “y,” later commissioning T-shirts emblazoned with the Y logo in place of an ordinary Y on the front.
“Bryan grew up and did everything in the Y, including summer camp, youth sports, pre-school,” said Mark, who has worked for the Y for 35 years and is currently the CEO of the Westfield YMCA.
With the Y forming a large part of his life, it’s no surprise that’s where Bryan, now 23, wanted to work after graduating from Lock Haven University in 2011. He was recently named sports and teen director at the Hillsborough YMCA.
For Bryan and his sister, Brittany, friendships were formed in YMCA Saturday morning sports classes, after-school programs and summer camps. “I was with my Dad constantly at the Y when he was working,” Bryan said. “And I loved going there.”
His experiences at the Y are what led him into the recreation field, he said, and his hope was to eventually work at a Y.
“I feel we lived a great life as a family. What we all learned through the Y has a lot to do with how my Dad raised us–to do right for the community you are representing, to work hard and learn new things,” Bryan said.
“I am proud to follow my Dad’s path and be in the YMCA,” he said.
In addition to his years spent growing up in Ys, Bryan was a volunteer and worked for two years with Y aquatics, camp, wellness and sports programs before taking his current position in Hillsborough.
The Hillsborough Y is thrilled to have Bryan, who brings a fresh perspective and enthusiastic energy, according to Senior Program Director Johnathan White.
He hopes to create a culture in which the Hillsborough Y is a place people talk about and go to for sports and teen activities
And his father, who has worked for the Y since 1977, his career taking him to Philadelphia and Baltimore before Westfield, couldn’t be prouder.
“Now we’ve come full circle from 23 years ago,” said Mark.