Lisa Warren playing Basketball.
Jeanne Moss in the pool.
Jayde Doucette in volleyball jersery.

(Top to Bottom) Lisa Warren, Executive Director at the John Geigle YMCA; Jeanne Moss, Aquatic Director at the Greater Palm Harbor YMCA; Jayde Doucette, Sports program Director for James P. Gills Family YMCA. 

Throughout history, countless women have contributed to breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes and demonstrating resilience and strength in their respective fields. February is Women in Sports Month, and we are honored to reflect on the women who paved the way for future generations of female leaders and athletes.  

Wilhelmina "Willie" Aveling is among the first women to become a changemaker in our YMCA movement. Willie began her YMCA career as a physical director in Atlantic City. In 1933, she joined the staff of the Chicago Metropolitan YMCA to find ways to improve programs for women and girls. For the next 28 years, she helped develop policies and recruit women leaders within the YMCA movement. Thanks to Willie and the countless women like her, we are able to recognize our female leaders today.

Lisa Warren, Jeanne Moss and Jayde Doucette work for the Suncoast YMCA at various branch locations. Each woman played a sport growing up and in college.

Lisa is the Executive Director at the John Geigle YMCA. She played volleyball at Pensacola State College and Webber International University and proudly advocates for today's youth to follow their passions.

Lisa shares, "I think girls should try multiple sports and find one they love the most, even if that sport isn't a typical female sport. It's okay to get your hands dirty on the field and still be feminine."

Jeanne is proud to be a female aquatics leader in a male-dominated sports community. Her love for swimming came at a young age and developed further once she joined a YMCA swim team in middle school. She notes, "Swimming taught me how to live a healthy lifestyle and helped lead to my career in aquatics."  

From aquatics to youth sports, the YMCA has a program for every child. Jayde Doucette, is the Sports Program Director for James P. Gills Family YMCA. Growing up, Jayde played soccer, t-ball and volleyball. Jayde's love of sports led her to work for the YMCA, and she attributes many of her life skills to playing sports. She shares, "Sports taught me how to work well with a team and develop a sense of belonging and skills that could be used on and off the court. I wouldn't be so dedicated and hardworking in my everyday life if it weren't for sports. In all honesty, my coaches held me accountable, taught me right from wrong and helped me understand the importance of being a part of a team."  

Jayde is proud to be a role model for the young female athletes at the James P. Gills Family YMCA. She hopes to positively shape and impact the future generation of women in sports.

You can join Lisa, Jeanne, Jayde and countless Y staff in mentoring today's youth. To learn more about our staff, sports programs and mentorship opportunities, explore our website further.

Published February 26, 2024