YMCA of the Prairie

Jonatan family

Veteran Finds New Mission as YMCA Youth & Family Director

A former military sergeant looks forward to making an impact in the Gothenburg community in his new position as Youth & Family Program Director at the YMCA at Gothenburg Health.

Jonatan Gonzalez started work at the YMCA on April 23, taking the role left vacant by Micah Waskowiak. Micah and his family moved to eastern Nebraska to be closer to extended family.

Jonatan hails from Taccoa, Georgia. After high school, he attended college, worked in construction, and then enlisted in the U.S. Army in the infantry division. He deployed to Iraq in 2017-18 and was promoted to sergeant, a role he continues serving in the Army Reserves.

He and his wife, Alex Gonzalez, who is employed at Flatwater Bank, recently relocated to Nebraska.

Jonatan joined the Gothenburg YMCA a year ago.

“I joined because I believe in pushing myself outside my comfort zone every day, a principle I learned from my time in the military,” he said.

The position at the YMCA appealed to him because of the opportunity to lead again and contribute to the community.

“Just as I made a meaningful impact on the lives of young men and families during my time in the Infantry, I am eager to continue channeling that passion within the YMCA community,” he said. “The YMCA’s commitment to youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility resonates deeply with me, aligning perfectly with my values and experiences. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the YMCA’s mission and to positively influence the lives of individuals and families in a new capacity.”

In his role as Youth & Family Director, Jonatan will promote the YMCA’s programs on social media, organize meetings and programs, and cultivate relationships with sponsors within the community.

“I find joy in the creativity this position offers and the chance to meet new faces daily, witnessing others embark on their journey to wellness,” he said.

Jonatan said in his new role, he will draw upon his military experience to guide his approach, both professionally and personally.

“It serves as a reminder of my strengths and areas for improvement, continuously motivating me to strive for excellence,” he said.

Outside of work, Jonatan enjoys staying active by working out, playing sports, and gaming. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Alex, and their German Shepherds, Rue and Jocko. He plans to return to college to pursue a degree in the medical field.

As Jonatan begins this new chapter in his life, he is excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. With his dedication to service and a heart for community, he is sure to leave a lasting impact on the YMCA and the lives it touches.