APR Innovators: Jay Houston

jay houston in group photo with adults and children

APR Innovators is an Asheville Parks & Recreation series highlighting team members going above and beyond to bring huge value to community members through knowledge, connections, and insight that come from a desire to create the best city possible through the power of high-quality recreation programs and safe parks that welcome everyone.


When did you join the Asheville Parks & Recreation (APR) team?

I joined the APR team in November 2021 as the Youth Athletics Coordinator. In this role, I provide the opportunity for kids in the community to participate in our athletic leagues and clinics. This also includes creating teams, hosting evaluations, creating game schedules, creating new programs, finding and training youth coaches, communication with parents and community members, and more.

What inspired you to apply to join the team?

The opportunity to provide high quality youth programs to kids in Asheville, as well as to be part of a great team at Asheville Parks & Recreation.

Which accomplishments are you most proud of in terms of your work with the department?

It has been very rewarding to see kids grow in our sports leagues and develop not only on the playing fields and courts, but also learn valuable life skills they can use on a day-to-day basis such as sportsmanship, communication skills, teamwork and more.

I am also proud to see the growth of our youth flag football program and youth/middle school basketball leagues.

For you personally, what does it mean to work for the department?

For me, it is the opportunity to be a part of a great team and community. We have the opportunity each day to impact others in a positive way. 

How have you grown professionally by working with APR?

I have grown professionally through APR by learning how to network. That has been very key. 

How would you complete this sentence: I work for Asheville Parks & Recreation because…I enjoy helping kids. They are the next generation of leaders in our community. 

Join Jay and other parks and recreation professionals making significant impact as they work to build a strong, healthy, and happy place to live. Current opportunities to work with Asheville Parks & Recreation can be found online.