Staff Spotlight: Rosemary Alpert
“What is home?” This is a question that Volunteer and Community Engagement Coordinator Rosemary Alpert has asked herself on countless occasions. Rosemary, originally from Connecticut, has lived in four states and seven cities, spanning from Hollywood to Tulsa. However, it wasn’t until she began her graduate school program while volunteering at YMCA Oasis that she began to explore the depths of the question: what is home?
A professional photographer by training, Rosemary spent years raising her family in Connecticut, teaching and creating art. In July 2015, Rosemary embarked on what was supposed to be a 10-day trip to the Pacific Northwest from Oklahoma. During her visit, she felt the sense of belonging she had longed for and decided to stay. This was one of the best decisions she ever made, she says.
In March of 2016, Rosemary began her Masters of Fine Arts at the Port Townsend satellite campus of Goddard College. She began volunteering, teaching photojournalism through Voices of the Children, a Mount Vernon-based nonprofit, to create an online digital magazine called Welcome to my House. The program took place at YMCA Oasis Teen Shelter, where she worked with local youth. This was her first introduction to the Skagit Valley Family YMCA.
The following semester, Rosemary chose to do her practicum project at YMCA Oasis, centered around the question, “what is home?” As part of her project, Rosemary started the Oasis Home Garden. This project cleaned up the grounds around the shelter and planted a variety of plants for staff, volunteers and youth to enjoy. Rosemary was later hired as a part-time activity guide at the Daylight Center, where she facilitated youth programming, including art projects, games, yoga and more.
Rosemary graduated with her Masters of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts in September 2018. A few months later, she applied and interviewed for the role of Volunteer and Community Engagement Coordinator at the Skagit Valley Family YMCA, starting the job in March of 2019. Despite having only been in this role for two months, Rosemary exhibits the professionalism, competency and dedication of someone with decades of experience.
Anyone who is fortunate enough to cross Rosemary’s path can attest to her kindness, compassion and genuine love for others. “The ability to connect with the community and listen to the stories of others. It's truly a gift. I feel very fortunate and blessed,” Rosemary says.
If you’re interested in joining Rosemary and her team of volunteers in giving back to the Skagit Valley community, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.