Getting to Know

YMCA staffer plans to go the distance to educate youth

2014-02-21T00:00:00Z 2014-02-21T13:26:24Z YMCA staffer plans to go the distance to educate youthKimberly Cheek-Stanley Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 21, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Sue McLaughlin’s passion for education has led to a fulfilling career as Family and Youth Program coordinator at Duneland Family YMCA, 215 Roosevelt St., Chesterton.

The Chesterton resident previously worked in Washington D.C. as a legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Glenn Poshard, who represented southern Illinois.

“Congressman Poshard served on the Education Committee in the House of Representatives and as a legislative assistant I was in charge of communicating with his district and his committee,” McLaughlin said.

“I did a lot of research for this committee and became passionate for the issues. I never thought education was in my future, but it has become my passion.”

McLaughlin returned to college, earning her master’s  in elementary education from DePaul University in 1994. Her family made the move to Northwest Indiana when her son was born with Down's Syndrome.

“We wanted to be closer to family for the support. We fell in love with Northwest Indiana due to the wonderful accommodations to raise a family,” she said.

McLaughlin was hired at the YMCA in January, charged with expanding youth and family programs like Youth and Government, Adventure Guides and Expand the Arts. She will also work to train new staff and recruit community mentors.

“My ultimate goal is to continue building on the mission of the YMCA to strengthen our community by investing in opportunities for strong families and strong youth in mind, body and spirit,” she said.

“A focus will be to build the technology opportunities for youth and family. We will be seeking donations and expertise for this initiative.”

A mother of three, McLaughlin is a runner, having run 18 marathons, including the Boston Marathon. She is a member of St. Ann of the Dunes Catholic Church in Beverly Shores.

To nominate someone for this feature, contact kimberly.a.cheek@gmail.com.

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