Director of Kehillah, Springfield Jewish Community Center; Age 26 Education: BS, Springfield College; MS, Bay Path University
Young grew up in Upstate New York with two older sisters and an older brother. She earned her undergraduate degree at Springfield College, where she ran on the track and field team. After graduation, she began working at the Springfield Jewish Community Center, and through Kehillah, a JCC program that offers programs for individuals with special needs, her eyes were opened to a special population of people with different abilities. Young is currently working toward her master’s degree in applied behavior analysis with an eye on becoming a board-certified behavior analyst. She loves spending time with friends, playing ‘name that tune,’ sweets, and learning.
What did you want to be when you grew up? My first career choice when I was really little was to be a brown bird like the ones in my backyard. My family likes to remind me of that often. I contemplated being a pharmacist, a teacher, and an athletic trainer. The one desired career that has remained a constant for me is to be a hospice nurse.
How do you define success? Success is putting a smile on someone’s face without them telling you they needed it.
Who has been your best mentor, and why? I am incredibly fortunate to have met several beautiful, fierce, and strong people in my life that have lent me their guidance. I’ve learned so much from them all and continue to be inspired by their merits.
What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? To not press ‘snooze’ one more time.
What goals have you set for yourself? I hope to make my parents proud, my siblings feel loved, and my friends feel confident in what they are. I also want to better my community by giving as much of myself as I can to it. My community includes my family, friends, career, and geographical location. I hope to make a difference that lasts over time.
Whom do you look up to? There are no better people, or parents, than my mom and dad. Those two are my best (and favorite) role models.
Photography by Leah Martin Photography