Waynesboro YMCA welcomes new aquatics director

Jennifer Ford is at home in and around a pool. The Ottawa native has a new home at the Waynesboro YMCA.

jennifer ford waynesboro ymca“I’ve always had a heart for aquatics,” said Ford, the new aquatics director at the Y.

Ford lives in Louisa County with her husband, Chris, and their children. She previously served as the aquatics director for the parks and rec department in Louisa, before taking time away from the work world to care for her oldest son, Drew, who was born with Menkes disease and required around-the-clock care.

After her son passed away, Ford wanted to get back into aquatics, and the job at the YMCA seemed a perfect fit.

The Y family welcomed her into the fold with open arms.

“Everybody has been wonderful. I even had a message on my dry erase board the first day here: ‘Welcome home.’ Before I even walked in this morning, somebody had put that up. That was really nice,” Ford said.

“Everybody has been fantastic. Getting to know the lifeguards, what they like about their jobs, what their future plans are, it’s neat being able to meet new people and learn about them”

Ford hopes to be able to use her background in adaptive aquatics to build on what the Y already has in place there.

“I have experience with autism, with hearing-impaired, visually-impaired, cerebral palsy, range of motion. All of the things we used to do with my son. He used to go everywhere with us. I just figure everybody is differently abled. Some people don’t do math. Some people have trouble climbing stairs. We all face challenges,” Ford said.

Jeff Fife, the executive director at the Y, feels Ford is a perfect fit for the aquatics program.

“We are extremely excited about having Jennifer join our Y family,” Fife said. “She brings a wealth of experience to our Y both from an aquatics background, business experience, and leadership training.  In just the first week, she’s already started to put her impact in our programming and will be a tireless and dedicated advocate for safety, youth development, and swimming.”

Story by Chris Graham

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