Dear Friends of CfY,I write to you with a mixture of excitement and sadness as I transition from Community for Youth to a new opportunity serving as the Executive Director of Neighborhood House this fall. I’ve so enjoyed meeting many of you, especially CfY’s students; you have taught me so much and helped CfY to elevate student voice, choice, and power.
I’m proud of what we accomplished over the past two years. We’ve added student leadership, service learning, and now meet 100% of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring. We adopted Critical Mentoring, which is mentoring through a race equity lens. This approach puts youth at the center of the mentoring relationship and all that we do. Thanks to the advocacy of our youth and partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, we were successful in securing funding for high school mentoring from the state legislature. We initiated a new partnership with Seattle Goodwill and now hold all workshops at their state of the art facility in Central Seattle. We became a host agency for the University of Washington Masters in Social Work interns, and undergraduate Education Community and Organizations (ECO) interns. We strengthened partnerships with Mentor Washington, Schools Out Washington, and Seattle Public Schools. Partnerships with Employee Resource Groups at Nordstrom, Microsoft, Amazon, and more have helped us diversify our mentors to 60% people of color.
We are grateful for the feedback and participation of many of you as we re-examined and updated our mission, vision, values, and theory of change. This work helped us elevate student leadership and incorporate more equity and social justice in our work. I was transformed by what I learned at CfY, and from what I learned from all of you. I am grateful to the CfY board for their leadership and for giving me the opportunity to be a part of CfY community.
The board is working diligently on a plan with the remaining team, Stephen, Hayley, and Elizabeth, to provide consistency and continuity for the program. Your support as mentors, donors, and friends of CfY is more critical now than ever before. We’re committed to keeping you updated as these plans solidify. Thank you for your support.