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Every year the Bastrop Education Foundation chooses a select few students from a pool of candidates to be that years “Rising Stars,” a group of students who the teachers feel are truly exceptional in and out of the classroom.

Here at the YMCA, personal training is about body, mind, and spirit. At Y branches around Central Texas, our members and trainers develop strong relationships that support members' goals. We love spotlighting those relationships and accomplishments.

Dear YMCA members and friends,

In this season of gratitude, we at the Y want to take time to give thanks for you. Whatever branch you call home, whatever Y program you call your own, it would not be the same without you.

Today was Napoleon “Napo” Griffin’s first day working as a Program Director in the Program Services branch of the YMCA of Austin. This department, located on Red River Street, oversees Y camps, afterschool programs, and more.

YMCA staff members love to celebrate as members strive for, meet, and even exceed their goals. Recently we heard from Personal Trainer Tony Vargas, who wanted to give a shout out to his training client Kathleen. Here's what Tony has to say:

"What if every obstacle in your life was part of the process to be successful? 

Fall youth soccer season is off to an exciting -- and adorable -- start at the YMCA! Mom Ashley Moore sent in these photos from the recent practice for 3-5-year olds. Her daughter Georgia, pictured here, is 4 years old and playing soccer for the first time. It is also the Moore family's first time being part of the YMCA community. How's it going so far? "Amazing!" Ashley says.

We had a fun surprise in the TownLake lobby today. New YMCA lifeguard Jake Larson looked up at a painting near the coffee and snacks and realized, "That's my grandpa!"

The oil painting's inscription reads, "Iron Dave Larson - From the Y Guys." Dave has been a Y member for decades, along with his wife, Eve, Jake's grandmother. Eva Larson is, in fact, the artist who painted the portrait.

We’d like to congratulate Sue H., one of our most recent Super Member All-Star Highlight (aka SMASHers*) here at East Communities!

Sue was nominated by her personal trainer, Bridget, for her determination.

We’d like to congratulate Maria, one of our most recent Super Member All-Star Highlight (aka SMASHers*) here at East Communities!

Maria was nominated by her Cardio Agility instructor, Bridget, for her dedication.