The Orthman Community YMCA was in its beginning stages in the former library building in downtown Lexington when Amber Holbrook began her job there as a teen.
Although she didn’t know it at the time, she was stepping into a part-time job that would have a big impact on her life.
Amber started in a front desk position at the YMCA in the summer of 2012. But, she soon found her niche in Child Watch.
“I have always loved working with children, so Child Watch was a perfect fit for me,” said Amber, who is also the second oldest of six children.
Amber graduated from Lexington High School in 2014 and moved to Texas that fall to study at the Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas.
“One of the first things I did when I got to Texas was look for a YMCA because I knew it was a friendly work environment,” Amber said.
She worked in Child Watch at the Waxahachie Family YMCA throughout college and at the Orthman Community YMCA during Christmas and summer breaks.
“I loved having the opportunity to work for another YMCA,” Amber said. “From that experience, I learned that every YMCA is as unique as the community it serves.”
Amber returned to Lexington in 2018 after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Children and Family Ministry, and a YMCA door opened for her again.
Amber is currently the Orthman Community YMCA Child Watch Coordinator, which includes supervising children and staff. She also assists in other areas, such as sending out the weekly YMCA newsletter and helping at YMCA events.
Amber said the part she most loves about her YMCA job is the people.
“The members and staff at the YMCA make it a friendly and welcoming environment,” Amber said. “I love working with children, so I love that for my job I get to interact with children on a daily basis. I love being able to make an impact on the lives of the children in our community.”
She also has enjoyed the unique opportunity to see children mature through the years in YMCA programs.
“The children who were babies in Child Watch when I first started have now aged out of the program, and it has been a fun experience getting to watch them grow up,” she said.
Amber has also “grown up” at the Y. And, she said the Y has had a great impact on her life the past seven years.
“Without the Y, I wouldn’t have met many lifelong friends I now have,” she said. “The YMCA values are caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. Being a part of the Y family for so long has helped me develop those value in my own life and help others develop them in their lives.”