Kya is an exceptional youth leader at the Geigle YMCA.

Kya is an exceptional youth leader at the Geigle YMCA.

“I wholeheartedly believe that the world would be a better place if more youth joined the Y.”

Kya Laubisch does not say these words lightly. The exceptional young leader at the John Geigle YMCA was recently named Youth Volunteer of the Year at our Annual Celebration event.

The 18-year-old senior at East Lake High School will be attending USF this fall on a Pre-Health Professions track. She grew up at the branch and has since become a well-known name. Kya joined the Y’s Piranhas Swim Team at nine years old. She has been a member of the Teen Leader’s Club for the past three years and serves as an Executive Member on their board. Over the years, she has volunteered for many branches.

“I was initially drawn to these activities due to the experiences I would have, but quickly realized that I loved being with the Y family and wanted to become as involved as possible. When I started high school, I joined the East Lake High School swim team as well, which also practiced at the John Geigle pool. As a result of the friendships formed on these teams, I was drawn to Teen Leaders, through which I had the privilege of going up to Blue Ridge Leaders’ School for the past three summers, where I’ve been able to hone my leadership skills and meet amazing people.”

Elaborating on why youth should join the YMCA, Kya notes:

“Youth should try and become as involved as possible with the Y, allowing them to meet new people and be exposed to novel experiences. No matter what you are going through, the YMCA family will always be there for you. The Y is a tight-knit community that truly wants the best for you, which is often hard to find in our chaotic world. I wish all youth had the opportunity to experience what it is like to be with the Y,” emphasized Kya, who is a future pediatric oncologist.

She notes that her community work, which ranges from aiding Suncoast Voices, which supports children in foster care - organizing clothes for those in need to manning the shirt distribution station at Gasparilla or hosting the annual YMCA Easter Bunny Brunch has given her a new perspective.

“My eyes have been opened to the need for service in our community. With this said, I have been able to witness the gift of teenagers spending their free time working together to truly make a difference. I am so incredibly lucky to be with the YMCA and will be forever grateful for the people I have met and the experiences gained in this community.”

Congratulations Kya! You are a beacon of inspiration for our youth.

Published Tuesday, May 28, 2024.