Get to Know Eastside Staff & Members



Every month, we will be shining a spotlight on our amazing staff and special members who help make our branch what it is.

Our first highlight is our Sports and Camp Staff Associate, Jake Kocher. Jake has been working with kids and teens at our branch for three years. He uses sports as a vessel to teach kids not only to be active but learn lessons in respect and teamwork.

Here are five quick questions with Jake:

What do you love most about the Eastside Family YMCA?
Here at the Eastside Family YMCA we are a very close-knit community which really takes time to put a focus on our community. We are a team, always ready to support each other and each person is always willing to help one another out.

Why is it important to you to work with youth sports?
I feel youth sports is an area that can focus on more than just the physical part of a person. Are we physically active in youth sports? Yes of course, but sports are a vessel in which we can use to teach about things bigger than sports. We have the ability to use sports to teach about sportsmanship, respect, fair play, teamwork, and much more. This is the area which makes me love youth sports the most. I love having the ability to create a culture, not purely focused on winning and losing, but on how we are supposed to play the game with others.

The thing you like most about being a Sports Staff Associate is…
I love being able to meet all of the families through each sport. We run a lot of sports here at the Eastside Family Branch. Getting to know each family and child that comes through my program means a lot to me because I feel like I am not just working with the child through our sports programming but getting to know younger/older siblings, parents, grandparents gives a more connecting relationship with the family. This allows us to bring out the best in each child.

What is the best part about working for the YMCA of Greater Rochester?
I love working for the YMCA of Greater Rochester because they put such a large part on community engagement and focus. Growing up I did not have a YMCA that was convenient to get to and experience all of the great work we do within our local community. To be a part of an organization and being a part of such great community work showed me some of the things I missed growing up. We are always trying to expand our reach to meet the needs of more and more people because it is such a big priority in our association. To see and be a part of this work makes me excited to see what the future holds!

Finally, share one interesting fact about you that people may not know.
I am adopted from South Korea. I was brought to Rochester when I was 4 months old! What my co-workers think my interesting fact is (more absurd than interesting in their opinion) that I do not like to eat chocolate or cheese, with the exception of yellow nacho cheese, I am not allergic I just do not like to eat it.

Learn more about Youth Sports at the Y, visit this link.