The YMCA of Springfield achieves its mission one person at a time. The greatest source of energy for our YMCA is our staff and volunteers who contribute to the advancement of the YMCA by meeting the needs of our community. They create an environment where everyone aspires to be their best. We know the staff and members at the Kerasotes YMCA feel Anthony Enlow is a perfect example of inspiration to those around him. In 2009, Anthony suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent years following the incident in physical, speech and occupational therapy. His injury left him with limited ability to stand, so he relies on his wheelchair for mobility. The results of the injury have affected his ability to speak clearly. He understands language and can respond to conversations and does so by using a communication device on his phone. Anthony is incredibly bright, has a great sense of humor and a huge heart. He has a unique power within him
to make people feel good. He is always smiling and incredibly welcoming to the YMCA members. He confronts the unique challenges in his life with great determination, strength, perseverance and humor.
Through all the therapies Anthony attended, he saw significant benefits from physical exercise. He saw a direct impact on weight management, stress management, emotional mood, memory, strength endurance and energy levels. Anthony realized quickly that working out at the Kerasotes YMCA helped build endurance and made it easier for him to carry out many activities for daily living. The physical benefits were one thing, but Anthony instantly felt the culture at the YMCA was something that helped his mental health. He says, “The exercise has helped me become stronger and it is a great mood stabilizer.”
A few months ago, Sabrina Bender, Kerasotes YMCA Membership Director, was asked if Anthony could come volunteer at the YMCA. There was absolutely no hesitation from YMCA leadership to bring him on board. Anthony has proven his worth through his dedicated work ethic and his amazing rapport with members. His work schedule is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but he just recently asked if he could work everyday. When asked what working at the YMCA means to him, Anthony responded, “The best part of the job is getting to interact with the members. My mood is better since I started working here.” Anthony’s mother, Maria, says, “Being part of the Y team has helped Anthony’s desire to be involved in something he loves; both exercising to continue to heal his mind and body and socializing with others who have the same interest. This job has boosted his confidence and independence. He loves the family atmosphere and has a true feeling of acceptance in the community.” The staff at the Y also see incredible benefits in having Anthony around. Sabrina is Anthony’s supervisor and she says, “Anthony is just that person who brings so much joy to so many people. He is always smiling. He just brings so much laughter and always helps lighten the mood. We are truly blessed to have Anthony part of the Kerasotes team.” Anthony is a bright light to anyone and everyone he meets. We are so grateful for his beautiful smile, sweet soul, and his hard work. We see daily how he is positively impacting the lives of people at our YMCA.