October 27, 2022
Meet Greg Shields, a member of the YMCA of Metro Denver Board of Directors. Greg is a Vice President at FirstBank. He has a long and rich history of involvement at the YMCA of Metro Denver dating back to his own childhood. Greg is passionate about work the YMCA does with youth and he shares his story to express gratitude to the YMCA community.
Childhood Memories at University Hills
My name is Greg Shields, and I am a proud member of the YMCA of Metro Denver Board of Directors. I am writing to tell you what the Y has meant to me and to say a simple and heartfelt thank you to you, my fellow members, volunteers, staff, and supporters. The YMCA of Metro Denver is an inclusive and kind community, and YOU make it special.
My roots with the organization run deep. As a kid I learned how to play basketball right here at the University Hills YMCA. Love of basketball is my lifelong passion that continues to this day as I coach my nephew and one day soon, I hope to coach my own son (but he needs to learn how to walk first!).
We moved around and my parents retired from the Air Force here in Colorado. On the basketball court I found a place of belonging that helped shape my character. I learned so much from my coaches and teammates that has guided me through school and life.
Getting Involved and Growing as a Leader
A few years back, when I was asked to get involved with the YMCA as a volunteer, I jumped at the opportunity. I first joined the board of advisors at Aurora focusing on programming and eventually working my way up to be on the Board of the Y of Metro Denver. I am very proud of the work we are doing, but I am the lucky one to have this opportunity to be a leader and help make our community stronger.
Working with youth is my other passion. I understand first-hand what a vital role a place like the Y can play in a child’s life, I was that kid searching for a place to belong and grow. The work we do is life changing, we are helping children reach their potential and nurturing the next generation of leaders.
My most gratifying moments have been while volunteering with the youth and children’s programs. I visited a local elementary school in an underserved area, and I realized that the lunch we were serving them may be their only meal that day. It was poignant but I am also hopeful for the future and that is why I volunteer. Whether we are reading to the kids or just being a listening ear to a child, making them feel seen, even just for 10 minutes, can make a world of difference in their lives. That is why I volunteer my time and contribute what I can to make these programs possible.
Grateful for Our Community
Your YMCA story may be different than mine or perhaps there are similarities. What we all share is belonging. YMCA is a remarkable place of wellness and inclusion that uplifts communities. Thank you for all you do to support the organization’s social mission – I have seen its incredible impact close up. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for being a part of our vibrant community.