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A conversation with Beth Maczka, CEO and Alesia Summey, Director of Empowerment Childcare

19 Mar

Alesia and Beth

In her position as the Director of Empowerment Childcare, Alesia Summey helps families access short-term childcare and other resources needed by working families in our community.  Beth Maczka recently sat down with Alesia to talk about her program and personal dedication to the mission of the YWCA.

BM: Tell me a little about your background and history with the YWCA.

AS: I’ve been working in childcare for almost 21 years, 16 here at the YW. I volunteered at the YW in high school when it was the old childcare program and came to work at the YW when the new childcare center was opening. At that point I was new and I was young, I learned a lot – I’ve been through 4 levels of ratings. I worked as a teacher for 11 years and then I was promoted to the program coordinator and then to the Director of Empowerment Childcare.

BM: How does the Empowerment Childcare (ECC) program relate to the YWCA’s mission?

AS: Being able to provide free childcare to parents, who have not had opportunities to grow, so they can go to school to get their GED or get their degree, or find a job. Without childcare they weren’t able to do that. We have empowered a lot of women and families through this program.

BM: What is your approach and vision for ECC in the coming year?

AS: To help out as many families as we can. Getting out in the community, going to different meetings in Asheville to get our name out. Doing whatever I can do to promote and increase enrollment, that’s my goal.

BM: Can you tell me more about ECC’s pay-by-the-hour childcare?

AS: For parents that are working and need care – if they have a doctor’s appointment, court appointment or an appointment that has to do with their job and they work from home – we have pay-by-the-hour, which is set up to provide up to 4 hours of care at a time. We’re able to serve all families with short-term care. It is a very critical need.

BM: Anything else you would like to share?

AS: Coming to the YW, seeing the work that we do as an organization and then being given the chance to empower myself – as a young mother, going to school, working – I consider myself a success story. There is a lot that this organization does that I don’t think people see. And I’ve had the opportunity to experience that. I can’t thank the YWCA enough.