Celebrating Andrew: YMCA’s Student Volunteer of the Year

While working for a cleaning crew may be considered a “behind the scenes” type of job, Andrew Gesquiere is receiving a lot of attention. Born with Mosaic, a rare form of Down syndrome, Andrew is a hard-working 21 year old who takes pride in making his home, school and working environments look their best. The YMCA in Green took notice, recently honoring him with their Student Volunteer of the Year award. Summit DD would like to congratulate Andrew on this achievement—knowing that it brings him one step closer to achieving his dream.

As a volunteer at Green’s YMCA, Andrew works two days a week and holds many cleaning responsibilities—from washing windows to sweeping floors. “He’s awesome,” remarked Karen Williams, YMCA’s Properties Director. “He’s a cleaning machine and he gets along well with all of our members.”

Nominated by Williams for the award, the YMCA directors wasted no time in voting for Andrew. “We have so many great volunteers, but Andrew was the clear choice. He loves what he does, and we really miss him when he’s not here,” Williams continued.

The directors of Green’s YMCA are not the only individuals who feel this way about Andrew. In addition to working at the YMCA, he works at Green High School, among other local places. “My classroom is the cleanest in the school,” exclaimed Dan Harlan, one of Andrew’s teachers at Green High School. “I think he’s gained a lot of independence from helping the janitorial staff here, and everyone loves having him around.” Andrew’s mother Becky added, “No matter where he is working, everyone notices. He knows everyone, and they all love him. I think that’s one of the reasons why he got the YMCA award.”

When asked how he feels about receiving the Student Volunteer of the Year award, Andrew simply stated, “I’m excited.” Becky added with a chuckle, “He can be rather shy, but I can assure you that he hasn’t stopped talking about this.”

With his extreme passion for cleaning, it’s no surprise that Andrew’s dream is to become a janitor. “He has expressed that this is his goal, and we’re here to help make that happen,” shared Brooke Wisniewski, Andrew’s Service and Support Administrator (SSA) at Summit DD. “Like other individuals in that transitional age group, we can help connect him with assessment programs and financial support wherever he decides to work after graduation.”

“With the support from Summit DD, the YMCA, and his teachers and job coach at the high school, Andrew has really grown and opened up socially,” Becky stated. “He’s done things I never imagined he would do, and it’s amazing. His father and I are just so proud of him.”

Andrew is just one example of the greatness that exists in the many individuals we serve right here in Summit County. With a little support, anything is possible—and Andrew has an award to prove it!

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