Growing Up with Manassas Park – By Michele Katsaris

Hi!  I’m Michele Katsaris.  Today, I have the honor of writing for the Community Matters blog.  Why me, you may be wondering?  Well if you must ask, it started about sixteen years ago when I first moved to Manassas Park.  I was three years old and about to start preschool.  When I started preschool, the classes were in a building not far from my house called the ‘Rec Center’.  It was only about two stories high and just big enough to fit a basketball court and a handful of classrooms.  From the classroom window, I could see the outdoor pool and a skate park in the back.  If someone had asked me if I thought that the ‘Rec Center’ was going to completely change and that I would be a lifeguard at the indoor pool or enjoying my first internship, I would have thought that they were crazy!  However, here I am! 
I have been working as a lifeguard at the indoor pool for a little over two years now and I love it!  My lifeguard staff is funny and always knows how to make the work hours go by quickly.  After just a year working as a lifeguard, I was promoted to a ’lifeguard two’ which comes with more responsibility.  I take pleasure in knowing that I am helping someone with their aquatic needs.  I have been life guarding since I was fifteen, and the Manassas Park Community Center indoor pool is by far my favorite!
As I mentioned before, I am interning with Jennifer Deuterman, our Marketing Manager, and I LOVE IT! LOVE, LOVE,  LOVE IT!  Most college students don’t get to intern their freshman year, but I did.  Also, most people are stuck in an office filing paperwork.  Not me though. I am up and about, doing everything between taking pictures and updating Facebook statuses; to creating my own marketing plan and press releases.  I get hands on experience of what this business will be like.  I am truly lucky to have landed this internship.
The Department of Parks and Recreation’s tag line is “Shaping The Future®”, and it has done just that for me. Manassas Park has watched me grow up from preschool, to high school and now as a college student.  When Jennifer asked me to take pictures around of all of the camps and activities going on, it was so neat to see all of the children, teens and even adults having so much fun in their programs.  The Department shapes the future for ALL ages. Right now we have Summer Camps as well as normal Summer programming going on like Senior Socials, Adult Baking Classes, Teen Cooking Class, Extended Care and much more.  This is such a great place to grow and learn no matter what your age is.

Manassas Park is my home and I cherish it very much.  It’s hard to believe that I am now in college working and interning at a place I have been a part of since I was young.  I am in awe of the Manassas Park Community Center and how much they have grown from the old ‘Rec Center’.  The outside may be different but the same great people who enjoy what they do are still here! 

Make sure to check out our MOSAIC for programs that you can take advantage of. In addition to our camps and programs, we have a lot of Summer events planned for you and your family to enjoy. Our Summer Movie Series kicks off this Friday at Signal Hill Park. We will be showing “Happy Feet 2” at 8pm.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Michele Katsaris is a Marketing Intern for the Manassas Park Parks and Recreation Department.

Leave a comment