Tell us about yourself.
- My name is Mark Adams. I’m a mental-health support counselor and I direct a program at Matoaca Middle School. I’ve been volunteering with the Y for years now. I took a hiatus; I volunteered 12 years ago and then I started volunteering again this past basketball season. I have two kids that play basketball at the Y and I came back to help them and to help the rest of the kids. I do a lot with basketball training anyway so I love to help out.
What’s a rewarding experience you’ve had through volunteering at the Y?
- There were a couple of kids on the team that I was coaching that didn’t truly know how to play the game as much as some of the others. It was a fun thing to watch them get better and better every week and to help them to learn the small parts of basketball. They really learned! By the end of the season everyone was cheering them on. They were some of the littlest kids on the team and it was just fun to see them do a good job, improve and gain their confidence. We had a good time watching them learn and the parents were really receptive to that, too. They were very appreciative which, of course, makes it even more fun for me.
What’s something you’ve learned?
- I’ve learned a lot of patience which is something that I already have, but it has only gotten better. Working at the YMCA has always been a good thing. It’s more of a family than a company or an establishment. It’s a family-oriented place. Of course with me being at this YMCA for so long, it’s always been a family atmosphere no matter how people change. People here know me and I know them and that’s the way it’s always been.
What’s something you think the kids have gained from being taught by you?
- I would say they probably have learned that there are people out here that care. You don’t have to be biologically family to care about someone. There are people out here who really do care and really want you to succeed and they want to be your role model and show you how to do something special with your life, especially through a sport. I learned basketball here and then I was able to get a college scholarship through that. I played here all through my childhood years. Hopefully some of these little guys will get to do the same.
National Volunteer Week is April 23-29. Consider celebrating with one of our many opportunities at the YMCA. Find the perfect opportunity for you here.