By Shannon Kruback
Youth Development Director,
Don Sjogren Community YMCA Holdrege
Hello, I am Shannon Kruback and if I had to tell you about myself I could do it in three words: wife, mama, and granny. I have three girls: Jaqualine, Samantha, and Meadow, and a single boy, Ethan. All of my girls graduated from Holdrege Public Schools, and Ethan is a senior this year. I have three grandbabies, Henley, Kati and Weston, and one on the way, Rexford.
My journey to the YMCA was filled with my kids and taking care of them at home, day in and day out. The one thing I was looking for while at home was the aspect of community and friendship, and when my kids were all in school I started looking for a job.
In October 2010, my wish was fulfilled and I started my job at the Don Sjogren Community YMCA in the housekeeping department. I soon learned that if you work at the YMCA, you will have more fun wearing multiple hats.
I started teaching group exercise classes and some water aerobic classes, but it didn’t stop there. I began to help the After School Program as a counselor. Once the school year ended, YMCA summer camp started, and worked as a summer camp counselor. Being in these two areas that were heavily involved with developing our youth, I found my love for helping the kids in the community.
In 2016, I became the After School/Camp Coordinator, and in 2022 I became the Youth Development Director. I oversee the After School Program, Summer Camp, Kids Cafe, school-age bussing, Child Watch, and School Days Out. This might seem overwhelming for some people, but whenever the kids come into the YMCA, my passion for youth development is reignited.
As I grew up in the YMCA so did my kids, or at least they were “voluntold.” When they became of age to work, they all started as lifeguards and then slowly moved to other positions in the YMCA, because only having one hat to wear is not as fun as having multiple hats!
Jaqualine, Samantha, and Meadow all have worked at the YMCA, and Samantha and Meadow currently still work here supporting the afterschool programs and summer camp. Ethan, as much as I wanted him to work at the YMCA, followed his own path but still helps out with whatever I needed.
I feel like this is the perfect placement for me because I have a personal understanding of the different development levels and challenges of children (two of my children have severe ADHD, one of those with autism and one with ADD, and the fourth child is just a typical rowdy boy). Having this experience from my personal life has helped me develop the youth in our community. I have also gained extra knowledge on these topics by going to many conferences and DHHS Zooms. Though I have gained, been educated and still am learning all the discoveries for youth development, I feel like I am in the right place, and that is to help develop our youth in the community through the YMCA programs.
I would like to thank everyone for allowing me to care for your kids at the YMCA today and throughout the years. It’s a privilege!