Malik Tappe made strides in his community when he became a sports instructor at the Christian Street YMCA located at 1724 Christian St. As the recipient of the “Christian Street YMCA 2011 Employee of the Year,” he is living proof that hard work does pay off.
Tappe became a role model to young boys at the Christian Street Y when he started teaching his “Children Bittie Sampler” class at the center. As a South Philadelphia native, Tappe found that the YMCA forced him to stay on the right path. Now as employee of the year, Tappe believes that anything is possible.
“I was so excited when I heard the news — it was a Thursday — I walked into the center and was told ‘I better have a suit and tie,’” Tappe said.
Tappe was recognized as “Employee of the Year” at the YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity’s Employee Recognition Luncheon on Jan. 17, 2011. He was recognized by John F. Flynn, CEO and YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity President, Gary Burgess, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Crown Cork & Seal USA, Inc. and Tom Bender, chair of the Association Board of Directors of the YMCA of Philadelphia & Vicinity.
The staff employees at the Christian Street center are proud of the man Tappe has become and voted for him for employee of the year. Michele Stevenson, executive director, is proud of Tappe’s achievement and believes he was very deserving of the award.
“He really has taken on the role of instructor and role model, they love him to death,” Stevenson said. “He is a role model with the high school kids who come here to play ball and who are achievers.”
Tappe is studying at the Community College of Philadelphia and plans to attend a university in the city after he earns his degree. Along with early childhood education, Tappe is also exploring the study of sports medicine. He is proud and grateful to add “employee of the year” to his résumé. He feels the reward is another way to be encouraged.
“The award made me feel special, but I am awarded everyday seeing the kids,” Tappe said.
Tappe was selected as “employee of the month” before being named “employee of the year.”
Starting at four years old as a youth member of the YMCA, he went on to become youth sports coordinator and now as employee of the year, Tappe feels this experience has been a “rollercoaster ride.”
With his goals and dreams seeming more attainable each day, Tappe is proud of his growth and the positive example he sets for the youth members.
“It’s a big accomplishment,” he said. “I once never thought I would be employee of anything — yet alone employee of the year.”