Jason Hagensick brings a passion for the Y to Boca Raton
“Everything I learned at the carnival has helped me be successful at the YMCA,” says Jason Hagensick, CEO and president of the South County YMCA since 2016, after the retirement of longtime CEO Dick Pollack.
Hagensick is the fifth generation of the Texas Hagensick family, which has owned a traveling carnival in the Midwest and West for five generations. He has memories of summers traveling through Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado and points in between with the show.
“When I was younger we’d be in one of the [carnival] games,” he says. “That was a way for my parents to babysit us. They would know exactly where we were at all times. We learned how to make change, how to count, how to deal with customers. How to have responsibility.”
And they were all lessons that he has applied over his almost 30 years working for the YMCA.
Hagensick “fell in love with the Y” when he was 18 and volunteered as a coach in the Y’s local basketball league. He started his formal career at the front desk of the Corpus Christie Y in 1989, working in Southern California, Texas and Chicago after that; he met his wife at the San Antonio Y.
He joined the Boca Y almost three years ago and is committed to its holistic approach, serving people “from the moment they are born all the way up to the end of their lives.”
Notable programs include the water safety drowning protection program for small children, bike safety programs, as well as a battery of programs aimed at the elderly, including a Parkinson’s option. He says he is focused on the “overall strength of the community,” as well as the Y’s longtime spirit-mind-body ethos. This summer, the Y will offer a full roster of activities, from camps to classes (visit ymcaspbc.org/summercamp). The Boca Y currently serves 70,000 people, and Hagensick knows it’s time to expand its campus, launch a new location in Delray and expand the Boynton Y—all high on his YMCA wish list.