KatieKingAfter moving from Williston to Fargo, ND, Katie King was on the job hunt. Her search took a quick turn when she came across a booth for AmeriCorps during a job fair at NDSU. While exploring the booth, one of the organization’s representatives explained their goals and the opportunities they could provide her with. After sending in her resume, King was interviewed for a variety of jobs and was placed at the Y, where she’s been working for the past two terms as an aquatics instructor.

Prior to accepting her current position at the Y, King was interested in being part of the organization’s mentor program. However, after talking with an AmeriCorps representative, she was asked if she would be interested in teaching adaptive swimming lessons at the Y, which was something she found rewarding.

“I’ve always been a person who wants to help make a big impact in the community,” King says.

Since starting her job at the Y, King has had the opportunity to help numerous children with disabilities grow both in and outside of the water. During her one-on-one lessons, King makes sure each student is understanding the material, is comfortable during the exercises and is having fun. “I really want to help them as much as I can,” King said. “It’s so awesome to see them succeed.” The Y’s dedication to their members is shown in an array of unique ways. Throughout the course of her time with the Y, King has had a chance to bond with her students in a way that many organizations avoid. King believes becoming friends with her students enables them to understand that she wants them to succeed.

“I am there to be more than just a swim instructor,” King said. “I like to get to know my students and their families, ‘Hey, I’m your instructor, but I care about you and care about your success.” Although King has made an impact on her student’s lives, her experience at the Y enables her to overcome challenges outside of work, encourages her to carry on when things get tough and make her days worthwhile. King believes that each of these outcomes have made her enjoy working at the Y. “The kids that I get to work with at the Y help me get through things in my personal life. I look forward to coming into work. My mood changes when I’m at work. I’m happy!” King said. “When I go to the Y, my co-workers and participants make my day brighter. They help me through things in my life more than they’ll ever realize.”

Aside from King’s amazing students, she attributes her love for the Y to her co-workers. During her time with the organization, King has been able to work with an array of unique and inspiring individuals, all of whom have become like family to her. “I honestly love the people that work there,” King said. “Everyone is so supportive of everyone that works there and I think we work well together, I literally feel like they’re my family.”

Since King’s first term with the Y she has had the opportunity to provide children from the F-M area with an opportunity to challenge themselves, learn a new skill, and get the attention they are in need of. All of these facets have helped her students grow and have even given her a little bit of encouragement.