Max Gongaware

Senior Program Director
Nick Name: 

Where were you born? I'm from right here in Raleigh, NC and - other than a brief stint in New York City in 2014 - I've lived in North Carolina my entire life.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I've always loved sports (especially baseball and basketball), but it didn't take long for me to realize that a career as a professional athlete wasn't going to work out, so being a sports broadcaster was my first "dream job." I grew up going to Camp Kanata and I worked there during my college summers. That's where I was first introduced to the Y Guides program, at Fall Outing. 

What are your favorite hobbies? During the summer months, you can often find me at a Durham Bulls game and during the winter months, you might see me at an Elon Basketball game. Go Phoenix! When I'm not watching sports, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, listening to music and thinking about my next meal. 

What are you most looking forward to in Y Guides? Y Guides has been a big part of the Triangle community for more than 50 years and I cannot wait to learn more about and become a part of that legacy. In my role, I'll get to help tell the "Y Guides Story" through social media, video content and more. I'm passionate about telling stories in a way that's engaging and inclusive of others who may be interested in joining the program. I can't wait to meet new people, learn about their stories and help share them to a wide audience of current and prospective participants, volunteers and stakeholders.

If you could visit anywhere, where would you go? I've been to baseball games in six Major League cities. I'd love to spend a summer visiting the rest of them.

What's the most important thing you've learned in life? "The world is full of ugly things that you can't change. Pretend it's not that way. That's my idea of faith." -Ben Folds Five. To me, this quote speaks to the importance of having a positive attitude. Things don't always go the way you hope they will, but if you keep your mind right and control what you can control, it can make a big difference.