This Month’s Inspiring Story

Bender JCC Member with an International Flair

After the birth of her second child, Nikos, more than a year ago, Lorena Núñez and her husband Elias were looking for a gym to join. They had friends who belonged to the Bender JCC and invited them to come with them to check it out. Lorena said she was surprised to find out how much was going on here and decided to join. “We looked at other gyms but for the money, we get so much more here. It’s not just a gym; it’s a community.” And while feeling part of a community is important to many people, it may be even more so for Lorena and her family, who moved here from Chile three years ago for Elias’ job as an international consultant. Lorena says that the Bender JCC is a great place for families, especially international families who don’t have relatives nearby and need to create their own network for support, entertainment, and socialization. “The JCC has offered that, and so much more.” Moving to Rockville from Chile, Lorena had to reinvent her job as a career coach. Now, she has clients from here and from Chile through the online company she owns and manages. The Bender JCC plays a part in that as well, as Lorena often rents a room here from which she conducts business. When asked what she and her family do at the Bender JCC, Lorena’s eyes light up. “A lot of things!” She’s here almost every day. During the week, she drops Nikos off at babysitting while she exercises. Then she goes into a quiet room where she can work, answering emails, creating social media posts and making calls. Many afternoons when her 4-year-old son, Aristides, gets home from school, he wants to come to the JCC to play in the babysitting room [when no one is on staff in the babysitting room, parents may take their children there and stay with them] where he finds the best Transformers. “I love bringing our sons here, where I know they’re playing in a fun and safe zone.” Elias plays basketball at the JCC twice a week. The family can often be found here on Sunday, going to family gym, working out and playing basketball. In the summer, they spend lots of time at our outdoor pool. Lorena says that the Bender JCC is so much a part of her life. “I come here to exercise, to work, for family time and to socialize. I feel very comfortable here. It’s our   second home.”

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