“I always called this place my second home because everyone knew who I was and kept an eye on me.”
Issaiah may be new to the AFFamily as an Aquatics Manager, but he’s been a familiar face at AFF Fredericksburg for years. His journey with AFF started as a kid in the Kid Zone when Fredericksburg first opened and his mom worked at the Welcome Desk: “I remember all the fun of getting that red wrist band and being part of activities. I became a member after and would work out and go late night swimming with my family on the weekends (midnight to 1am) for fun.” At 16 he started working with AFF as an Activities instructor, and within 2 years transitioned to the Aquatics Department and loved it.
After just under three years working in the Aquatics Department, Issaiah headed off to college at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, where he had the opportunity to work and train with dolphins, turtles, sharks, stingrays, wolves, bison, lions, tigers, and Roosevelt Elk. He’s a self-proclaimed “marine biology and animal nerd” and can give you a random fact about any animal that he’s learned about. During his summers home he was able to return to AFF Short Pump and work in the Aquatics Department there where he took Water Fitness classes, participated in Worldwide Swim Lesson Day, and took part in AFF Fredericksburg’s annual “Swim the Rappahannock” challenge. He gained even more experience that would one day lead him to his current position.
Being in the water is a large part of Issaiah’s life and is what ultimately led him to a career in Aquatics. “Water Safety is a big part of my life because being near and on the water is important to me. [This inspired me to] get my lifeguard Certification and be part of Water Safety drew me to the aquatics department.” His goals for the Aquatics program at Fredericksburg include getting more people signed up for swim lessons: “[The] more lessons we give, the more kids that are water safe and [that’s] one less incident that can occur.” His best tip for the water is to take it at your pace: “Being in the water can be such an amazing thing and amazing workout. There are so many different things you can do in the water but you must always remain safe cause doing something dangerous in water can have consequences.”
He wanted to work with AFF because it was his second home for so long, and it was a company that was about customer service, a quality that he shares with AFF.” AFF goes above and beyond for its members and that is something that makes it stand out from all of the rest.” The best part about working at AFF? According to Issaiah, it’s the employees! “Each employee brings something special to this place and my Aquatics team is an amazing team to have working for me. It makes coming to work every day awesome knowing I have such a strong team with me.”
In his spare time, you can catch Issaiah on the water paddleboarding, swimming, or wading through water and seeing what marine life he can find. When he can’t make it to the water, you can find him relaxing with his family, playing tennis or volleyball, or watching House Hunters.
A fun tidbit about Issaiah: his favorite stroke is the corkscrew stroke which includes both backstroke and freestyle!
Welcome, Issaiah, to the AFFamily!
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