Aiden believes in paying it forward, and he doesn’t want to waste time doing it. The Central Y lifeguard credits the YMCA for being a pillar in his life, helping to shape his past and his future. He recalls first learning to swim in the old downtown Y building and spending numerous summers at YMCA Camp Reed.
“There’s nothing like it. I’ve been able to experience all there is at camp. From being a camper, to a Counselor in Training, Junior Counselor and now as staff this past summer. It’s amazing going through it all,” Aiden said.
While working at camp over the summer, Aiden completed lifeguard training and now works at the Central Y watching over swimmers and teaching lessons. Aiden thrives on connecting with children and helping them to develop their skills. “Seeing the progress that kids can make is amazing. I feel like at times they’re underestimated. Some children don’t have an adult in their corner going ‘Hey you can do this!’ and I think it’s really important for them to hear that.”
Aiden is currently studying at Spokane Falls Community College and plans on pursuing a career in education. He credits his time working at camp for developing his love of teaching and working with children, “you see the growth the kids go through. Overcoming their barriers, whether it be mental or physical. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of,” Aiden said.
His love of camp comes from a genuine place. Aiden says the experiences at Camp Reed helped him grow and find his own voice, “it’s a privilege to be able to feed back into that, giving back to the things that helped build me up.”
One thing that Aiden says is important to him is the variety of people participating in YMCA programs. Allowing children from all types of backgrounds and abilities to have access to the same opportunities is something he says is unique to the Y. “Here it doesn’t matter how much money your parents make, or where you live. When you come to camp, or step into this branch it’s all the same, the kids get an equal shot at achieving their goals,” he said.
Aiden is a recent graduate of Shadle Park High School. While at the school he participated in Cross Country and was the president of the Distributive Education Clubs of America, better known as DECA. He enjoys hiking and running through many of the beautiful outdoor spaces Spokane offers.