„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“


19th July 2017

Alina has been volunteering at YMCA Baia Mare since 2001. In 2004 she became board member and president in 2008. She has been serving the community for more than 15 years and doesn't plan to stop.

I discovered YMCA when I came back in my home town after graduation in 2001. Pretty late, some might say. I found some enthusiastic youngsters trying to create an association. First we became friends, I think. And by friends, I mean friendships for life. YMCA became part of our lives. We hadn't known much about this huge phenomenon which is YMCA, but we've learnt from each other. Alina, Marius, Marian, Dan, Onoriu...were my colleagues and my inspiration.

August 2011 - the YMCA Romania delegation in Kiev, for the Regional Inter Fair Festival

Then, after a while, I saw the big picture being involved in some international camps, projects, trainings, meetings. There I figured out the little piece of the big puzzle we were part of. I've met great people with a lot of experience and I've learnt as much as I could from them. This is something that never ends, even now, I am still amazed how little I know.

For me, YMCA means the sense of belonging to something greater than you can possible imagine. In YMCA I used to do everything: volunteering, project manager, camp counselor, driver, teacher, mentor, organizer, trainer, trainee... From 2008 to 2017 I was president of YMCA Baia Mare, Romania. Then it was the time to step back, to leave the stage for a fresher generation of leaders. I trust them completely because I've seen their evolution from the very beginning and I'll always be a shoulder to lean on for the organization. I have two kids now and they grew up being involved in Y projects since they hadn't been born yet. My greatest satisfaction is seeing them attending the projects we had dreamt of.

On right: Alina Coman and on left Sandy Vukich

If I were to nominate somebody that influenced me a lot, that person would be Sandy Vukich. Do you know the feeling when you are on the same page with someone? That someone is Sandy for me. We met in 2013 when she was trainer for YMCA Baia Mare. At that time she was Wellness Director overseeing the Wellness Centre and in charge of certifying the instructors and staff at a YMCA in Beaver Countuy - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She started as an aerobics instructor, then wellness attendant, Senior Aerobic coordinator and Group Exercise Director. Quite a career! She has been serving the community for 12 years. In the meanwhile she was a great mom and wife. But behind all these, I've met a kind, warm person. I saw a sparkle in her eyes and Sandy is a reflection of the woman I'd like to be someday.

I'm very thankful to YMCA, for all the opportunities I was offered, for the person I am today and the people my kids will be tomorrow.

This article is part of "THIS IS YMCA - THIS IS US" Campaign.

We are convinced that you have at least one story of this kind that shows this influence in your life or, how through YMCA you have changed the lives of other people yourself. Do not keep these treasures just for you: they are too valuable! Read more on how you can have your story published.

Author/Source: Alina Coman - Romania

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