In the year 2004 I started to attend Cleveland High school and enjoyed my surroundings. My older sister participated with Community for Youth. I was always in some sort of program or extracurricular activity and thought CfY would be a great program to be a part of. I was matched with my mentor Lara who has helped me with whatever I needed in school. We planned many fun, learning, and volunteer community work throughout Seattle.

One of my favorite things my mentor and I have done was rock climbing and volunteering for parks, food banks, and retirement homes. I enjoyed this most because I felt I was giving back to the community and gave me and Lara the opportunity to get to know each other on different levels. Community for Youth opened my eyes to new things and made me want to be a helpful part of the community.

I didn’t really think about college before coming to high school but once I was matched with Lara there were so many questions for myself as far as what I wanted to do after high school. We took road trips to universities just to see if they fit me personally and was encouraged by Lara to take opportunities that were among Cleveland HS.

I was a part of the TRIO program, touring universities in Washington State, this helped me figure out what kind of atmosphere I wanted to be in and gave me knowledge on what universities were like. Having a mentor has helped me focus on a bright future and has been one of the most effective things in my life today.

I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University in Interdisciplinary Studies with the disciplines of: Anthropology, Africana education, and Social Work. Community for Youth has been an outlet for many of the things I am today. Lara has helped me in so many ways and opened my eyes to new things and perspectives; this program was amazing and I’m grateful to have met such an amazing mentor/friend.

Thanks Lara, You Rock!!

– Patricia W.