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Hazelwood “Y” Gets New Executive Director

The elections are over, and politicians both new and old have positions. But politicians weren’t the only ones getting new job titles Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh announced Leah Hardaway would be the new executive director of the Hazelwood Y.

Hardaway began as the interim executive director on September 1, 2012, but Wednesday marked the begining of a more permanent role.

Hardaway said one of her biggest priorities so far has been learning about the community.

“A lot of places that I’ve served in the past, I’ve had to learn about the local businesses, the people themselves, and most importantly what their needs were,” she said. “So my focus was on what are the struggles, what are the strengths, of the community so that we can move forward and come up with a plan.”

Hardaway formerly worked as a director of afterschool programs for the Rankin Christian Center, and as the program director of the Learn and Serve America Program, a nationwide project to teach youth how to utilize their education to solve the problems they encounter in the course of volunteer projects.

Hardaway feels her former job experience will help her as executive director.

“The most important thing is recognizing that children are our future, and looking at how they are developing, what it is that they’re learning, is it of quality to prepare them to move them into leadership roles,” she said. “And I certainly think that’s something that’s transferrable here in the Hazelwood Community.