Meet the Y: Vanessa, Erika, and Brooke

At the Y, people make everything possible. We are excited to welcome three new staff members at TownLake. Meet Vanessa, Erika, and Brooke! Please help us welcome them when you see them and thank them for their work for our community.


Vanessa is from Austin and came to TownLake from the East Communities YMCA aquatics department. We asked her about her Y story.

How long have you been working with the Y?

“Five years. I was Headguard, Lifeguard, Swim Instructor, Sports Official, and Seasonal Aquatics Coordinator.”

Why the Y?

“I’ve always wanted to help people, and with lifeguarding, you are frontline staff to rescue someone, to protect everyone ,and that’s what I like to do. I chose TownLake because I love the downtown area. The scenery is beautiful and different, and the employees are very outgoing, willing, and just uplifting.”

What’s your Y story?

“My favorite Y memory was my very first time stepping foot into the YMCA at East Communities. I knew a friend who worked there. The sports director at the time walks up to me and a friend, asking if we were looking for a job working sports. Right away we said, “Sure!” A couple months later, the director sees and me and the same friend and asks if we want to become lifeguards. And since that day forward, it’s always been my favorite memory — how I started in the YMCA and the aquatics program. Back then I didn’t see myself being Aquatics Coordinator, but here I am. I love it!”

Do you have a motto?

“My favorite motto is: If it doesn’t change you it wasn’t hard enough!”



Erika worked the Welcome Center at TownLake before joining the personal training team. We asked her to share about her background and training style.

“I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin and moved to Austin in August 2018. Ever since I was 12 years old I lifted weights, created my own circuit trainings, and participated in group fitness classes.

“Outside of the gym, my favorite ways to exercise are dancing, running, and hiking. I think the best way to stay active is to incorporate a variety of workouts and not forcing yourself to do those you abhor. In addition to workouts, I believe it’s important to partake in activities that ensure not only physical, but mental and spiritual health for optimal wellness.” 

“My quote is: All progress takes place outside of the comfort zone!”

Training specialties: Interval training, weight lifting, half marathon training, increasing flexibility, and helping people remain consistent with healthy habits. 

Availability: Monday-Thursday Mornings and Saturday Mornings


Meet one of our newest trainers, Brooke Edwards. Like all Y trainers, Brooke is making a great difference in her clients’ lives. We asked her to share a bit about herself.

“I moved to Austin two years ago to pursue my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. I finished a couple years early, so I will now begin my journey to being a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology starting this fall. I currently also work in a Sports Psychology lab and a Cardiovascular Aging lab as a research assistant. My hobbies include biking, hiking, and research on the physiology of the human body.

“My motto is: If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”

“Coming from a strong science background, I focus on optimal and functional human movement. My goal is to get your body moving and working the way it is naturally designed to. Everything I do with you has a specific purpose to you, so ask me why! I can tailor a workout to fit the needs of any individual, and I write each program specific to the client.  Everyone has a different route to optimally reaching their peak; let me help you find yours.”

Availability: MWF 8-4pm (summertime); weekends during school year.


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