An Honor and A Privilege
Jeff Sanders is originally from Mifflinburg, PA and is a 2001 graduate of Mifflinburg Area High School. Upon graduation, Jeff attended Penn State Altoona for two years before answering a call to service for his country. It was a moment as freshman that resulted in Jeff enlisting into the United States Marine Corps, for he could never get that image from the morning of 9/11 out of his mind.
Upon completion of basic training and the school of infantry, Jeff was attached as a machine gunner to the 1st Battalion 2nd Marines. A month and a half into his first deployment to Iraq, on the afternoon of September 6th, 2004, Sanders was struck by an IED and blown from his humvee. His injuries resulted in the amputation of his left leg just above the knee, as well as a traumatic brain injury. He then spent over a year of recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
After medically retiring from the Marine Corps, Jeff sought to continue his education by going back to Penn State. It is there where he first obtained a part time job at the State College YMCA. At the time, he had no idea how this opportunity was going to change his life.
Jeff is now employed as the Membership Coordinator at the State College YMCA. He was first employed as a Membership Services Representative working at the front desk. This was a job he obtained only to fulfill obligations assigned to him by the VA. At the time, he was struggling with school, alcohol abuse, and his disabilities resulting from the injuries he suffered in Iraq. One of the lowest points in his life, Jeff realized he had to make a change. With a New Year’s resolution in January 2009, and the help of the Y (employees got free memberships), Jeff was able to turn his life around. The YMCA allowed Jeff to build a healthy body, followed by a healthy mind, and eventually overall healthy spirit which he shares today with all the members of the State College YMCA.
As the Membership Coordinator, his...