Marlon Pollard Earns YMCA Spotlight

YMCA of Montclair, located on Park Street, has been serving the Montclair community for over a century. For the past 120 years, the YMCA has provided Montclair with endless services, in the form of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility. But this service would not have been possible without the dedication of the YMCA staff, who work hard everyday to make the YMCA the best it can be.

Marlon Pollard smiles because of the incredible YMCA
Photo Courtesy of Lena Rawley

Marlon Pollard teaches because of his passion for the kids.

Marlon Pollard, a Program Director at the YMCA, is one of those employees. Pollard has been a member of the YMCA staff for 15 years and loves working there.

“I love working here because I really enjoy teaching classes and seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces when they learn a new skill,” said Pollard. “The Y is also filled with lots of great people and that creates a joyful environment.”

Prior to working at the YMCA, Pollard was completing a degree at Montclair State University and working at Floyd Arena.

“One of the things that inspired me to work at the Y was that I enjoy teaching, and not just teaching, but teaching sports. I like to help kids develop skills,” shared Pollard.

As program director, Marlon Pollard is required to oversee staff, be actively involved in teaching sports classes and give input on introducing new programs.

“We try to come up with programs we think the kids will enjoy,” explained Marlon Pollard. “We test out the programs, to see what the kids like. For example, we tried lacrosse two sessions ago. It had a good turn out the first time, the second time it wasn’t so popular.”

Basketball and soccer are the two most popular programs, yielding continuously large turnouts. The YMCA additionally runs a spring track and field program.

“We normally have 15-16 kids sign up for track and field,” said Marlon Pollard. “We try to get them running outside, and then when the first week in June comes, we encourage them to sign up for the two-mile Run for the Y. A lot of the kids do sign up and it’s fun because the counselors run along with them.”

Marlon Pollard’s favorite program he’s organized is soccer, because he loves the sport and has played it his whole life.

“A typical day for me starts around 9:30 in the morning,” explained Pollard. “I teach parent and child swimming classes and then child only classes which include little league soccer, gym and hockey.”

During the Summer months, Pollard assists in overseeing staff at the YMCA’s popular Camp at the Lake. Pollard loves working at the Camp at the Lake, not just because he’s a big fan of being outdoors, but because it’s one of his favorite programs at the YMCA.

“Camp at the Lake is my favorite program because it entails outdoor activity which includes swimming, arts and crafts, bow and arrow, which encourages hand-eye coordination, and basketball,” said Pollard. “It’s also great because it encourages social skills. The kids are making new friends which leads to a great summer experience.”

Marlon Pollard believes Camp at the Lake is a community asset because it gives kids the opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends while also encouraging an active lifestyle. Pollard believes this is crucial because makes healthy living fun.

In Pollard’s opinion, the YMCA is a vital part of the Montclair community. “The Y is important because we offer a wide variety of programs for the entire family, encouraging a healthy, active way of life. We also assist in sponsoring those who are less fortunate to attend these programs,” shared Pollard.

It is passionate employees, like Marlon Pollard, who show such dedication and enthusiasm towards their job that keep the YMCA of Montclair so strong.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login