YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood

The Y: Providing Life Changing Experiences for our Intern

Last week, we saw one of our valuable graduate social work interns, David Huggins, leave the Y.  The Y has provided a wide variety of learning experiences for David for two years, supervising and supporting his field work. Six graduate social work interns from Yeshiva University, Columbia University and Fordham University have found meanigful learning experience at the Y.  David contributed and enriched our social media platform,  helped to organize community events , adult programs , led groups and supported children in our inclusive after school program. David has just graduated for the Yeshiva University Wurzweiler School of Social Work. As David moves on to greener pastures, he has shared these words of thanks and gratitude to the Y. Thank you for all your work David and all the best to you!

“Well, the time is here.

As been mentioned a time or six, my tenure at the agency has ended. It’s hard to walk away from what I honestly think is one of the most rewarding learning experiences I have had. But as my parents taught me, you should under stay rather than overstay your welcome. And there is so much for me to do.

We’ve share a lot in the two years since I’ve been here. I need to say thank you. Thank you the staff, past and present, with whom it’s been my honor to work alongside you. It’s been an extraordinary privilege to be part of the Y’s team and a real honor to learn from so many talented people here at the Y.

Community centers are labors of love and attract dynamic individuals with a passion for its mission. I’ve learned so much from Monica, Cyndi, Tamar, Debbie, and Vicki. I remember my first encounter with Monica last year who looked at the agency’s resources and imagined such forward-thinking activities to inspire the after-school into science and eco-systems. Cooking was transformed from playing with spaghetti noodles to creating fun-filled recipes and food crafts. She really believed in children, and that passion really inspired me.

Later, Cyndi and Tamar showed me how to create great Jewish experiences for the Y’s families. We may not have had the highest of budgets, but that didn’t stop us from having the highest of ambitions and expectations. Those individuals were role model that I continued to follow and mirror in my own contributions at the Y. I thank you in investing that trust in me, trust to deliver top quality work and represent the Y to the community-at-large.

Finally, having worked in theater and media, I knew how to make an exit, and when the end came, I knew exactly how to leave the stage.

I looked at the 3rd floor intern room that had been my grandest set one final time. Ideas weren’t just born here; they were carried out and delivered. Many of the new programs were walking without my assistance and mentoring. The walls were now bare. Gone were the color photos, flyers, and bulletin boards covered in flyers. The desk empty, not covered with pink phone messages and event items. The office was swept clean of personal mementos.

All that was needed was my last act, leaving my key in my supervisor’s box and saying goodnight to the security guard, Cliff, one last time. The sun was setting on my agency life; I was graduating. I was ready for the freedom and a new role.

In closing, I will leave with this: Life is a path. Sometimes we travel on trails. Other times, we’re on roads. Occasionally, our roads turn into paths that turn into sidewalks then into highways. I guess what’s I’m saying is, life is a journey, and you should enjoy every opportunity to keep going.

Thank you so much for coming along with me in this incredible journey.

Best of luck to the Y and its staff,


David A. Huggins “

About the Y
Established in 1917, the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood (the Y) is Northern Manhattan’s premier Jewish community center — serving an ethnically and socio-economically diverse constituency — improving the quality of life for people of all ages through critical social services and innovative programs in health, wellness, education, and social justice, while promoting diversity and inclusion, and caring for those in need.

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