Staff Spotlight: Migdalys “Migdy” Sanchez

My name is Migdalys “Migdy” Sanchez.  I was born and raised in Puerto Rico.  I have two beautiful daughters and a wonderfully busy 2-year old grandson.  When I was 14 years old, I was diagnosed with Keratoconus, a sight disorder, that led to me being declared legally blind.  I went through 3 corneal transplants.  Thanks to the procedure and some special lenses, I am fully functional.

In my early 20’s, I was in the auto sales industry and working towards becoming a sales manager.  Then, in 2010, my life took a sudden turn.  I moved to the U.S with 2 daughters, 5 suitcases and $100 in my pocket.  I did not speak English at the time.  It was only through God’s grace and some determination on my end that I made it through one of the toughest times in my life.  I also began my fitness journey about that time.  Through the support of good friends and some great instructors, I lost 100 pounds.  Through my weight loss journey, I was inspired to get certified as a Zumba trainer. My Y career started as an instructor, teaching classes at the YMCA of Greater Springfield.  I worked my way from instructor to wellness floor attendant and eventually a Branch Executive Director.

In 2021, I moved to Jacksonville to work for the Florida First Coast YMCA as the Executive Director of the YMCA at Baptist North branch. For the last 2 years it has been a blessing to lead this amazing team and serve a community that has welcomed me with open arms.  As I celebrate a decade with the YMCA in January 2024, I celebrate my Hispanic roots and the opportunities that have brought me to the YMCA and living a healthy lifestyle. I received my translation Certificate to translate from English to Spanish through American Translator Association. Recently, I was a planning committee member for the Regional Emerging Multicultural Leaders Experience conference in Jacksonville Florida.  I support my Hispanic YMCA colleagues by being a part of the YMCA HLLN “Hispanic Latino Leadership Network” and mentor the Healthy Living Director at the YMCA in Puerto Rico.  I feel pride in supporting my country and advance the work of the YMCA.