Beginning a new position as executive director of the Northeast Family YMCA during a pandemic and in an area of the city she was unfamiliar with seemed like a daunting task, but Shea Trogdon came in prepared.
Trogdon, a South Philadelphia resident, worked in YMCAs across the region for the last 10 years. She wasn’t quite familiar with Northeast Philadelphia, but having spent just a month working in the area, she’s already acquainting herself with the community.
“I’m drawn to work with more underserved populations and love being in a diverse work environment, so that was a huge draw for me,” she said.
Trogdon said she noticed more families coming in together than at the other centers she worked, and that the staff and community members have been welcoming and inviting.
Starting the position in the middle of a pandemic, Trogdon’s main priority is making sure guests are safe and the center follows the city’s safety guidelines. Located at 11088 Knights Road, the YMCA is open for in-person activity at 50-percent maximum capacity.
When guests arrive, they will have their temperature scanned and will answer two questions about whether they have experienced any COVID-related symptoms recently or been exposed to someone who tested positive in the last 10 days. The visitor will be asked to return to the center after quarantining for 10 days if they do not meet the safety qualifications.
Guests are required to wear face masks at all time in the center, unless you are swimming in the pool or taking a shower. Staff members are stationed throughout to make sure safety guidelines are met and that equipment is being cleaned before and after use.
Visitors don’t have to wear masks if they’re doing outdoor activities such as Zumba, yoga or cycling, as long as they remain 6 feet apart. Sports classes are also taught outside, including basketball at the outdoor basketball court.
“We’re doing as much as we can outside,” Trogdon said.
The center is looking to fill numerous positions around the building, including camp counselors, lifeguards and swim instructors. Trogdon encourages anyone looking for work to get in contact.
“The Y is here to serve the community,” she said.
The full schedule of activities and more information can be found at PhilaYMCA.org.