Great Miami Valley YMCA

The concept for the “I’m Third Award” began with a story many years ago about a very popular young man named Bill.  He graduated high school with many scholastic and athletic awards, and many other honors that could increase a young man’s ego and opinion of himself.  Upon going to college his mother advised him saying, “Always remember, son, no matter what your successes or failures, God comes first, other folks come second and you’re third. Whatever happens, your life will be a happy and successful one if you remember that motto and live accordingly.”

When he arrived at college, he put a sign on his desk which said: “I’m Third”.  When asked by fellow students about it, he replied he would tell them on graduation day.

When that day arrived, a group of fellow students came to his room and asked to know the meaning of the sign.  Reluctantly he told them of his mother’s advice and that he could not tell them the meaning of his “I’m Third” sign because he was afraid he couldn’t live up to it.

All of his fellow students knew that Bill was a follower of God and a friend to everyone.  Now they understood why Bill had never asked things for himself and why his friends had always thrust honors upon him.  Finally one of the students spoke up, “I understand what this has meant to you and to us and I want to tell you that you have made good on that motto, and everyone in this room knows it.”

For many years the Great Miami Valley YMCA has given the “I’m Third” Award to a deserving employee who meets the criteria of putting God first, others second and themselves third.   Candidates are nominated by their fellow employees and demonstrate this attitude in a variety of ways:

  • Successful job performance & strong leadership skills.
  • “Walks the talk” & is a leader in character development.
  • Demonstrates compassion for others
  • Strong family and community relationships.
  • Commitment to the YMCA.
  • Minimum 1 year of service.