No Tension Here: Shawn Parker’s Story

19 Dec

???????????????????????????????YW member Shawn Parker grew up in New York City and Florida, and spent 8 years in the military. After completing the police academy in 2009 he married his wife Jennifer, a certified doula, and they eventually moved to Asheville – where the couple now live with their daughters Amilya and Leah.

Shawn, who has a BA in criminal science and is working towards an MA, works for the Asheville Police Department as a field instructor and member of the crisis intervention team. Because of his background, he is often called into crisis situations to engage and support people suffering from PTSD, helping connect them with resources.

While Shawn has access to a 24-hour gym for police officers, the facility doesn’t have child care. Shawn notes that he “loves the empowerment part” of the YW’s mission, but was at first unsure about whether the gym excluded men. “When I first saw the YW I said, this is for women. But I’m the type of person who investigates, so I walked in the door and asked – what are you all about?”

Now a Club W member, on days when Shawn is taking care of his 4 year-old, Leah, he’ll bring her to the YW. Shawn notes that “Club W has great child care with no gap during the day. Best of all, when I pick Leah up she tells me she had fun.” While Leah is enjoying activities in Drop-In Shawn, will spend time on the treadmill, and then he’ll often pick Leah up to take her swimming in the solar-heated pool.

Shawn says: “It feels safe here. Coming from law enforcement and the military, I’m frequently on my guard — but people are relaxed and there’s no tension here. The staff is friendly, and it’s a comfortable and family environment to work out.”


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