Current Match Spotlight: Rhonda and August

As a mentor and volunteer for over 15 years and a student for 4 years, Rhonda and August are familiar faces around Community for Youth. They met during a Launch weekend at Camp Colman as residents of the same cabin. Four years later, they are celebrating all they have learned from and about each other as they prepare to end their time with CfY. August will be graduating this year, and Rhonda will be taking a break from mentoring.

With so many years spent together, they have become close and admire many things about each other. August shared, “I like her type of humor, and that she’s kind enough to befriend just about anyone. That has made me envious more than once. On top of that, she’s dependable and has stayed in the program through thick and thin. She’s the best.” Rhonda shared, “Her joie de vivre!!!  August has the best laugh EVER and a wonderful, giving spirit. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say a negative word about another person. She is incredibly kind – unless you are playing her in a game of Spoons, then she is just plain wicked!”

Current Match Spotlight: Khalen and Jalen’e

Like many of our matches, Khalen and Jalen’e bonded over Launch weekend at Camp Colman. Khalen shared, “We both just had a lot of fun together at camp. He seemed bright and reminded me in many ways of myself around his age.”

The pair has made a distinct impact on our program. Khalen has now been a devoted mentor for 3 years, and Jalen’e is a dedicated member of our student Leader Corps. In turn, Community for Youth has had a large impact on them both. Khalen, originally from the east coast, found a community of people here in Seattle he can trust. Jalen’e shared that CfY, “has made me a more outgoing and open person towards people I don’t know.”

Over the past two years, they have shared a love of music, movies, video games, and cartoons. When asked what they admire about each other Jalen’e responded, “I admire his honesty and his humor. They’re in a sense similar to mine.” Khalen shared, “I think Jalen’e is a relentlessly free spirit. He genuinely does not have any concern towards others’ opinions of himself, and I think that is truly remarkable especially at this point in his life.”

Thank Your Mentor Day

Donnalyn and Carrie

Carrie has taught me how to maintain a positive and persistent attitude even through the ups and downs. Doing that is a motivator that can better help me through the days. She pushes me to do the best that I can when I’m telling myself otherwise. I tend to overthink, stress out, or shy away from some opportunities that I could’ve possibly done well in. She reminds me that I shouldn’t put myself in that position and that I should just go for it. From big or small hangouts, it’s all enjoyable memories that I look forward to creating more of. I also appreciate the conversations we have, it’s assuring to know that someone is listening and offering their insight. From the very start, I always liked the vibe around Carrie. When I first joined the program it made it so much easier when she would talk to me during camp with a smile on her face every time I saw her.

Harsh and Saumil

A mentor for me is someone I rely on for completely unbiased advice for almost everything, giving a compliment or a hard message to fix something, I expect my mentors to be completely direct with me. Saumil has been that person for over six years now. He always put his trust in me, took risks with me and always showed unwavering confidence in me. He was the one who without knowing me a lot, over a ten minutes phone call from across the world offered me a job at a completely new place teaching me a new set of skills. One of the most important things that he has taught me, “try and do the right thing every time, do not try to be the popular person in the room. Speak your mind out respectfully, take calculated risks, dream big!”

Hayley and Kendra

I first met my friend and mentor, Kendra, when I started working at Community for Youth as an AmeriCorps member. Kendra has taught me a lot about navigating the workplace as a woman and rejecting some of the stories we tell ourselves about our worth or our ability to succeed. Kendra inspires me with her confidence and honesty. Kendra has helped me develop my voice and stand up for what I deserve. I’ve also learned from Kendra the importance of having a loyal friend in your corner.

Astrid and Ruthie

Ruthie had a way of making me want to work harder. She didn’t ever let me get away with making excuses or doing the bare minimum as I had at so many jobs in the past. She was tough but she believed in me and that made me want to do my best. Because of her impact and mentorship, I applied myself enough to be promoted twice while I worked for her. I learned a lot about leadership and what sets apart a boss from a leader. I learned to never be afraid to admit you are wrong or don’t know something and to always ask questions. Although we no longer work together, I have taken her advice and guidance with me into my current role. Ruthie is one of the strongest women I know and someone I will always model myself after, in my professional and personal life. She is part of the reason I wanted to become a mentor with CFY – her impact on my life has been tremendous.

Janice and Alan

Alan helped me get my first real job and always taught me to help someone else when you’re in a position to do so.

Alumni Spotlight: Dwight and Amanda

Dwight and Amanda were both students in CfY and are now CfY Staff! Read more about their time in the program below.

Dwight Walton: 

I was involved with CFY for all 4 years of my High School Experience. Without a doubt I remember going out for 1:1s with my mentor the most. The first time I ever went out to a restaurant was with my mentor, and in turn, I went on my first date to that same restaurant.

CFY influenced me by making me a more confident public speaker – I had the opportunity to speak at CFY’s biggest fundraiser not once, but twice. Some of the things that I learned from CfY that have helped me when going into adulthood are public speaking, networking, and confidence. Going into college with confidence and knowing how to network was a great help because I don’t think I could have made as many friends and met people to help me without those skills.

I work with CFY now and I’m always down to help CfY in whatever way that I can. I decided to stay involved because I’ve always had a sense of community with CFY so I’ve always been willing to go the extra mile for the organization.

A goal I have is to create my own non-profit to help with at-risk youth and juveniles and do the same thing for them that Community for Youth did for me.  

Amanda Alvarado: 

I was involved with CfY for 2 years during my junior and senior year. Through CfY, I got positive adult relationships, a sense of community, paid opportunities, recommendation letters, advice from a caring adult, a confidence boost, and I got to attend different things such as college tours and going to meetings in career fields I was interested in. Now, in my adult years, I really value community, positive adult relationships, and giving back to young people because it impacted me greatly when I was a student to feel listened to, cared about, and valued. I’ve stayed connected and involved with CfY because I value our young people and the impact mentoring can have on youth who might not have a positive support system.

Currently, as you know, I am involved in Community for Youth as a staff member and I am refocusing a lot on my health, mental health, and fitness journey. Something I love to do in my spare time is dance. I love aerial arts and I hope to keep training and compete or do shows in the future.

My biggest future goal is becoming a homeowner, I want this so bad for my family. To me, this can mean not only financial freedom, but I know it’s difficult to try and be successful when you don’t have a stable home. So this goal is mostly for me and my younger brothers. As far as a future career (life after CFY), I am going to follow wherever my heart and passion takes me. I will probably always consider myself a youth worker or community advocate for young people despite my occupation. I always wanted to try working in the health or fitness field because that was one of my many passions and interests.

CfY Welcomes Four New Board Members

Community for Youth Announces New Board Members

Seattle, WA – Community for Youth announces the appointment of four new board members: Mohammed Adeeyo, Rovina Broomfield, Richard Manhattan, and Ben Masters.

MOHAMMED ADEEYO is an alumnus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he served on the board of student run social advocacy groups promoting youth development such as the national society of black engineers engineer and the universities African and Caribbean student association. He accepted an offer from Boeing upon graduating RPI and is currently a structural analysis engineer at the company. Since moving to Seattle Mohammed has been active within the community working on youth STEM programs, mentoring and creating spaces of empowerment for underrepresented individuals. Mohammed is also a designer and model for the Koeles Group which creates Afro contemporary fashion. Mohammed is an avid sports fan and a left footed striker when he steps on the football (soccer) pitch. He is passionate about being culturally responsible and impacting his community positively.

ROVINA BROOMFIELD is passionate about business, creative thinking, and community involvement. She studied finance at Washington University in St. Louis, and has a master’s in business administration from Olin Business School. In 2012, she relocated to Seattle to begin an exciting career at Amazon, where today she leads a product development team within global marketing and advertising, while also serving as the global president of Amazon’s Black Employee Network. One of her proudest professional accomplishments occurred in March 2018, when she was awarded the “Just Do It” Award from Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, for exemplifying customer obsession and bias for action as the team leader for the company’s Textures & Hues online storefront launch. Outside of work, she enjoys playing basketball and public speaking, which includes instructing a business productivity workshop at Seattle’s General Assembly, and sharing with students of color and young adults about foundation habits of leaders and pushing through the constructs of the corporate world. When asked why she supports Community for Youth (CfY), Rovina stated, “As a former CfY mentor, I appreciate the organization’s genuine commitment to a healthy community for all participants. I’m excited to shift my participation to its board to have greater impact on the integration of inclusion and diversity into the organization. Being on the board will be a valuable experience that connects my interests in leadership, business strategy, and young people. I’m thrilled to join!”

RICHARD A. MANHATTAN is a strategic advisor primarily for sports and entertainment clients at Propyrion, a boutique consulting firm.  After obtaining degrees from UC Berkeley and UNLV Law, Richard now looks to establish roots in Washington and wants to help CfY nurture other first generation college graduates like himself. Richard shared, “CfY is a long-standing, legacy non-profit with an amazing board, staff, and the most dedicated mentors…period.  The organization’s commitment to critical mentoring is so very important for the students and families it serves.  In a rapidly changing world, we must encourage vulnerable young people to be strategic about their educational and career objectives.  I am excited to help CfY evolve and expand to serve the State of Washington by empowering the youth of Seattle to achieve their best.”

BEN MASTERS Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Ben moved to Seattle for its abundance of outdoor activities and to pursue a career in technology. Ben has a Masters in Information Systems and is currently pursuing a second Masters in Computer Science from Georgia Tech while working as a Program Manager for Microsoft Azure. He believes in the power of technology to transform lives and has witnessed firsthand the power of introducing youth to the field of Computer Science. Ben strongly believes in the mission of Community for Youth to inspire and support the holistic development of our community and sees technology as a catalyst for the success of those involved.

Our full list of our Board of Directors can be found below.
Lara Hansen, Building Oz, Board President
Stephen Koszalka, Amazon, Board Vice President
Sheila Roe, Sheila A. Roe, CPA, Board Treasurer
Richard Manhattan, Propyrion, Board Secretary
Mohammed Adeeyo, Boeing
Jerrid Anderson, Colliers International
Rovina Broomfield, Amazon
Clay Gilge, KPMG
Michael Koger, Providence St. Joseph Health
Roger Lorenze, Ewing & Clark, Inc.
Ben Masters, Microsoft Azure
David Roe, Slalom Consulting
Chris Rooney, Willis Towers Watson, Immediate Past President

Community for Youth (CfY) inspires and supports the social, emotional, and academic development of students through mentoring, learning experiences, and a powerful community. Through activites and conversations that are youth-centric and youth led, students explore issues that impact them. Caring adults act as trusted advocates and opportunity brokers so youth can set and achieve their goals, explore career options and improve their community through service learning.

If you are interested in joining the Community for Youth Board of Directors, please email our Executive Director, Janice Deguchi at Janice@communityforyouth.org.

Introducing: CfY LeaderCorps

From left: Divaa, Jonah, Mireya, Jalene, Donnalyn, Amy, Tianna, and August. Not pictured: Winden, Katherine, Aida, and Angel

Community for Youth is excited to announce our CfY LeaderCorps! This group is made up of 12 students who will receive leadership training, facilitate portions of CfY workshop activities, assist with recruitment and serve as ambassadors for CfY. These 12 students will have multiple opportunities to develop their leadership abilities in a safe and supportive learning environment. It is our hope that our LeaderCorps students will strengthen their confidence, develop public speaking and group facilitation skills, and experience in guiding their fellow students through the CfY program.

Stay tuned for more updates on our LeaderCorps and please join us in giving them a warm welcome to LeaderCorps and welcome back to CfY!

 

Donor Testimony: Jenna Etzel

Jenna Etzel, Right at our 2017 Auction

I was introduced to CfY when my brother was involved as a mentor and he would share his experiences and how impactful the programs were.  I wanted to support that! I have continued to give beyond my brother’s time in the program because I have teenage children and I realize that the foundation and support that they get at this stage of their life will impact the trajectory of the rest of their lives.  The work that CFY does with children at a very important stage of development will positively impact and change them forever…which makes the world better.

When I talk about CfY to others I like to say that it’s a real way to help youth in OUR community and they will go on to be the leaders of future Seattle area businesses, classrooms, parents, artists, etc.  Why WOULDN’T we invest in them?

This cause matters to me because my brother and I did not grow up in a healthy environment and our family was designed to hinder growth.  CFY is giving people skills to set them up for success and that matters a lot.  People can do ANYTHING when they are supported, regardless of their background or experiences.

New CfY Board Members

Seattle, WA – Community for Youth announces the appointment of two new members of its Board of Directors. Joining the Board of Directors are Roger Lorenze and Michael Koger.

Roger Lorenze has been a real estate broker in Seattle for the last 6 years. Roger assists his clients with leasing and sales of both office and retail buildings and space. Roger holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah, and both a Washington and Oregon Real Estate License.

Roger has also been a mentor with Community for Youth for the past three years, as well as a donor and supporter.

My experience with CfY has opened my eyes to how many people, especially young people, want to get involved and help others as mentors. I also realized how many incredible young students that have so much to offer are looking for (and needing) the support and friendship of others. The combination of incredible people wanting to help and incredible people looking for and needing help works.” Roger has shared.

Michael Koger is a healthcare professional with over 10 years of experience in medical group and hospital operations as well as information services. He recently transitioned from healthcare operations to the healthcare information technology realm, with a focus on IT integrations between affiliating organizations. Michael has an Executive MBA from the University of Washington Michael G. Foster School of Business. Michael shared,

“I am very excited to be a part of the CfY board, and looking forward to doing my part to help our students make it to graduation and continued success in their life paths.  Having been a mentor in the past, I know how important our work is, and I’m confident we can ensure CfY’s continued success well with into the future.”

Our full list of our Board of Directors can be found below.
Lara Hansen, Building Oz, Board President
Damian Sevilla, Kidder Mathews, Board Secretary
Chris Rooney, Willis Towers Watson, Immediate Past President
Sheila Roe, Sheila A. Roe, CPA, Treasurer
Jerrid Anderson, Colliers International
Clay Gilge, KPMG
Landon Graham, Swedish Health Services
Stephen Koszalka, Amazon
David Roe, Slalom Consulting
Roger Lorenze, Ewing & Clark, Inc.
Michael Koger, Providence St. Joseph Health

Our Vision
All students graduate from high school with the skills needed to be successful in life, and to make a positive impact in the community.

Our Mission
To inspire and support the social, emotional, and academic development of students through mentoring, learning experiences, and a powerful community.

If you are interested in joining the Community for Youth Board of Directors, please email our Executive Director, Janice Deguchi at Janice@communityforyouth.org.

Meet the Family Group – Hyun Choi

Hyun’s Family Group

I feel that the Family Group component of CfY offers a deeper layer of relationships that can form within the community. It gives us as mentors an opportunity to get to know other students and mentors better. I think what makes CFY unique are the different layers of relationships that you build.

1. The one with mentor/student
2. The Family group
3. The CfY community

Each layer gives an opportunity to build relationships and the Family Group helps you to strengthen your relationship with your student as well as the opportunity to better know a select group of people in the community.

Fun Facts

Favorite activity/memory so far

1. First family group activity at Khalen’s – we had a potluck and played games to get to know each other better
2. Pictionary night – the group got heated, but it was a lot of fun
3. Boxing class
4. Family Fun Center
5. Boost

Five things you all have in common

1. Have a love/hate for Pictionary
2. We show up
3. Like food/enjoy eating as a family group
4. Outgoing group that gets along well
5. Competitive/aggressive

What have you learned from one another so far this year?

1. Patience
2. Music
3. Acceptance

Have there been any challenges that your Family Group has overcome?

1. Pictionary – got real competitive, but we still like each other in the end
2. Boost – many of the mentors couldn’t go…was a lot of juggling to figure out carpools, but ultimately, we pulled together as a team and made it all work out

What makes your Family Group special?

1. Everyone shows up
2. We have a lot of connections within the group
3. We like each other – a lot
4. We communicate – a lot
5. We like to have fun together

Meet Our Community with Alexus

Alexus at LAUNCH

I got involved with CfY through my friend Kaga, who has been doing CfY for 2 years now. He told me about how much fun it is and all the connections you end up making. Before CFY, I would have never interacted with a majority of the people from my school. Now I have friendships that will last a lifetime. Through my CfY experience, I have learned that communication is key, and most interactions and relationships will depend on it. I’m planning on becoming a nurse or a teacher, so being able to converse with my patients or students would be helpful.

I have a great relationship with my mentor, Sarah. She is very fun-loving and easy to talk to and I could tell her whatever I want without judgment. It’s refreshing to know an adult who treats you as an equal.

If I could describe my CfY experience in one word, it would be “Growth”.