Jae Stanford-Gant
May 19, 2023 - South Side YMCA

Meet Our Day Camp Team: Jae Stanford-Gant

Jae Stanford-Gant, Youth Development Manager at the South Side YMCA, grew up in both Chicago and Arizona. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Elementary Education and is currently working on her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education at National Louis University. Stanford-Gant originally joined the Y in the summer of 2016 as a Summer Camp Counselor at the Rauner Family Y, and then became a Youth Enrichment Instructor and is now the South Side Y’s Youth Development Manager! She loves teaching and believes that education is a huge influence on who youth become as they grow up.

Q: What is your favorite part of working at the YMCA? 

A: My favorite part of working at the YMCA is getting to cultivate positive relationships with both the children and the families we serve. It is really gratifying to know that you are doing your part in helping the future generations become who they want to be.

Q: What do you like most about the work that the Y does? 

A: I love that the Y is family and child-focused. I love that most programs cater to the children in the communities they serve with a huge focus on familial support.

Q: What is your favorite part about Day Camp at the Y? 

A: My favorite part about Day Camp is seeing how much fun the campers have every day. I love watching them make friends and cultivating lasting friendships from just one summer at the YMCA.

Q: What is your favorite memory from Day Camp at the Y?

A: My favorite memory will always be seeing a group of my 8 to 12 campers crying because their favorite counselor was leaving to go back to school before camp was over. This was such a sweet moment for me and getting to experience their love for that counselor will always stay with me.

Q: What are you most proud of in your career so far? 

A: So far in my career, I am proud to say that I have worked in [the Rauner Family and South Side YMCA] communities and gained so much knowledge and experience from both. I am also proud that [my new position as Youth Development Manager] has made me want to go back to school to get my degree.

Q: What’s one thing people don’t know about you that they would be surprised to find out? 

A: I was adopted twice into the same family.

Q: If you could have any superpower, what would it be (and why)? 

A: I would love to be able to teleport. I just want to be able to travel wherever I want, whenever I want.

Q: What’s the last song you listened to? 

A: “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus.

Q: What’s one thing on your bucket list? 

A: I want to see the Northern Lights in Iceland.

The YMCA of Metro Chicago believes in the power of play. We play for fun and for progress. Day Camp at the Y empowers Chicagoland youth to do mighty things — making friends, developing new skills, creating life-shaping experiences, and so much more! 

Our experienced and talented counselors and staff are committed to making sure your camper experiences a full day of play, exploration, learning, and personal growth. Here at the Y, we want to show off our Day Camp team’s amazing talents and contributions to our community — and find even more talented, community-oriented individuals who want to work at the YMCA!