Category Archives: Uncategorized


2014 was another terrific year for YES! Thank you for being part of it and for your ongoing and very generous support!

In addition to accomplishing the things we have come to expect in our year like:

  • In January, a group of students from Our Future Matters, a YES! program, were once again invited to present to state legislators at Student Action Day in Olympia, the state capital.
  • In the spring, 12 students rode in our Major Taylor Bike Club weekly rides and in July, eight of those students cycled from Seattle to Portland in Cascade Bicycle Club’s STP Ride. Our riding season started back up in the fall with 15 students involved in those weekly rides.
  • On the last day of school, every student from pre-school – grade 6 at Mt View, White Center Heights and Roxhill elementary schools participated in our 11th Annual Christmas in June event. 1500 Baden Sports balls, 10 bicycles, 3 schools and 2 assemblies! Always the best way to kick off summer!
  • In October, Our Future Matters sponsored and hosted an education summit at Green River Community College that was attended by more than 350 students, parents, educators and community members.

2014 also was the year that:

  • Marked our 10th Annual Jack Thompson Run to Win Sports Camps. 200 campers, 5 sports, 3 days.
  • In July, We took 5 students, 5 adult volunteers and 2 staff on a San Juan Island Bike Tour! 5 days, 4 Washington State Ferry rides, 3 islands, great food, beautiful sights to see and so much sunshine! All of that goodness plus an incredible opportunity to invest more deeply in the lives of 5 amazing White Center youth! Was it heaven? I’m not sure but it may be as close to heaven as this island girl can get!
  • Once again, YES! was part of bringing Cultivate’s Open Mic Night to White Center! On a beautiful August evening, young artists found their way to the stage while the community came out to be together and enjoy local talent on, what I believe, has become White Center’s Best Night of the Summer!

Our partnerships with Run to Win Outreach Camps, Cascade Bicycle Club, A.I.G.A. Link, Act Six, World Vision, White Center CDA, Peak 7, Trackademics, Cultivate, Mt View Presbyterian Church, Baden Sports and Highline Schools remain intact and robust. These partnerships are vital in our ability to provide excellent programming to the children and youth of White Center. It is humbling to ponder how many kids have come through our Jack Thompson Sports Camps over the years as campers, as coaches and as volunteers. YES! is able to offer these camps in large part through our partnership with Run to Win Outreach Camps, an outstanding and seasoned organization led by Mike Rohrbach! Words can’t describe our gratitude to Mike and RTW for their commitment to us and to the community we serve.

We’d love to see you at these upcoming YES! events:

  • The 3rd Annual White Center 5K Walk and Run – Saturday, March 28th, 2015
  • YES! Dessert Auction – Saturday, April 25th, 2015


Look here and check our Facebook page for more and updated information about those events!


Pat Thompson
Director/ Co-Founder


It’s Just a Bike, Isn’t It?

 Joe was a 15 year old who wanted to join bike club the first year it was offered at YES!  However, he made a choice that many young people make, and that was to work…unfortunately, his job usually scheduled him on bike riding days.    What I didn’t realize until late in the riding season was that it wasn’t his job that was keeping him from being able to participate on those days, it was the fact that it took him more than an hour to get to work because he had to ride the bus.

As a part of the bike program, we offered our first Earn a Bike session that summer.  Earn a Bike is a six week curriculum where kids learn everything about a bike: bike maintenance, bike care, how to fix a flat tire or a busted chain on the fly…they basically take the thing apart and put it back together.  At the end of six weeks, if the student attends 5 out of the 6 sessions, he or she will sign a contract about always wearing his or her helmet while riding and observing bike safety rules and then, the bike is theirs.   Joe decided to make this part of the bike program a priority and attended every session.

I really wasn’t ready for the feeling that came over me when I watched those 8 kids ride away on their very own bike, the one that they earned from Earn a Bike!  And believe me, there is so much packed in that last sentence, I could cry again just thinking about it but I don’t want to break all of that down right here, right now.

What I do want to share is this:  A few days after Earn a Bike was over,  I was in my office when I saw Joe riding his bike up 12th Ave, crazy fast!  I yelled to him from my window and motioned for him to meet me at the door, I asked him how he liked his bike.  He didn’t waste many words but let me know it was “cool” and that he rode it everywhere!  I asked him where he was going in such a hurry and he said, “Oh, I’m on my way to work…but I’m not in too big of a hurry, it only takes me 15 minutes to get there.”

I assure you, it is NOT just a bike.

Pictured from left to right: Mohammad, Carlos, Abdul and Francisco getting ready for the Flying Wheels Ride, June 2012

*The YES! Foundation is a partner of Cascade Bicycle Club.  Through this partnership, we are able to provide a program called the Major Taylor Project.  Please go to to learn more about Cascade Bicycle Club, Major Taylor and this very exciting program.  You will be amazed and inspired, I know I am.  If you have any questions or want to know more about how you can support the Major Taylor Project, contact Ed Ewing at

YES Foundation Dessert Auction

Come to the YES Foundation’s 12th Annual Dessert Auction!

Saturday, May 4th 2013 at Mt. View Presbyterian Church

10806 12th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98146

Doors open at 6pm.

There’ll be a silent auction (first table to close at 6:30) and a live auction to follow the closure of the last silent auction table.  It promises to be a fun evening with yummy desserts and a lot of awesome items on which to bid.

A letter to the Proud Alumni of EHS

Dear Evergreen High School Alumni,

We are writing to share an exciting opportunity with each of you…its a chance to help student athletes from Evergreen take the next step in their education. We’ve been working with Terri McMahan, the Highline School District Athletic Director – a wonderful leader with a compelling vision for the district’s athletic program ensuring that student athletes have what they need to succeed in the classroom as well as on the court or field Another part of the plan is to encourage student-athlete’s vision for life beyond high-school.

To that end, we want to invite each of you to consider making a financial contribution specifically toward a scholarship fund for Evergreen student athletes. Terri has a fund raising strategy that includes approaching businesses and other potential donors. But the eight of us believe that there are MANY Evergreen Alumni who would appreciate the opportunity to invest in the ongoing education of student athletes who desire to pursue a college education. . It may interest you to know that over 75% of the student body qualify for free and reduced lunch. This means that many families of our student-athletes may need some financial help to make that dream a reality.

We are hoping that as Evergreen Alums, you will join us in making a financial contribution to this important scholarship fund. You can do this by clicking on the link below to the Highline Schools Foundation. then click on the Scholar Athlete Recognition Program “Donate Onlne” link. Then follow the instructions to make your contribution through pay-pal. It is a simple process. Make sure you check the box that says you are an Evergreen Alumni.

Four student atheletes from each high-school in the district will be recognized and will be given their award at a banquet on May 22nd. Any donations received after May 18th will be applied to next year’s scholarship fund.

On behalf of the next generation of student atheletes that hail from Evergreen and their families, thank you!!!

Gene Thompson (Class of 1971), Margo Thompson-Fanene (Class of 1974), Jack Thompson (Class of 1974), Walt Cougan (Class of 1974), Lina Thompson (Class of 1979), Pat Thompson (Class of 1981), Josiah Fanene (Class of 2005), Keilah Fanene (Class of 2007)

Carlos and Major Taylor

Carlos after the 2-day 200 mile STP Ride!
Carlos after the 2-day 200 mile STP Ride!

This is Carlos, another young friend of YES.  Read about his experience with the Major Taylor Project at YES.

My name is Carlos and I have been a part of the YES Foundation for over 3 years now.  I remember hearing at school that YES was putting together this bike club in collaboration with the Major Taylor Project at Cascade Bicycle Club.I joined thinking it would be an easy way to get my fitness credit. Boy was I wrong! It was excruciating, but would soon become a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. For the few months we got to train, we would ride around the neighborhood and each ride would progressively get much more difficult.  We soon started riding to places like Vashon Island. Ultimately, we trained enough to be prepared for STP, the two day bike ride from Seattle to Portland.

Somewhere along the way of STP, I began to establish and reconnect relationships with people who I was much too shy to talk to before, as I thought they were too cool for me. I became good friends with someone I knew for years, and even got to know my math teacher a little bit better because she’s on the rides with us; turns out teachers are people too!  Through all that I definitely pushed my threshold to be uncomfortable, yet it wasn’t enough.  In completing the program I learned that being the person I want to be, and that in order to be the best I can be, and put my best foot forward I have to work for it… period….like Major Taylor did in 1899 when he established seven world record in one six week period while overcoming discrimination.

And so after these years of being a part of YES, I realized that I don’t just want to do this but I want to do more.

The amount of nice, authentic, positive people at the program is outstanding, quite breathtaking actually. They saw leadership qualities in me that I still can’t see.  Now, I am aspiring to and always striving towards something greater than I would have originally thought possible for myself.


Are you painting on a car?
Are you painting on a car?

Meet one of our favorite artists, Vanida.  Listen to her reflections about how YES has made a difference in her life.

If it wasn’t for the YES Foundation, I don’t know where I would be right now. The people I’ve met here have influenced my life so much. I get to be surrounded by kind people who don’t judge me. YES helps youth get away from negative activities such as drugs, and violence. I remember when I was younger, I felt like I was an outcast. I was the quiet kid who sat in the back of the classroom and the “cool” kids at school were the ones who were involved with gangs. I didn’t have many friends and I felt alone. When I got involved with YES, I was welcomed. It is ok to be an outcast because that’s what makes people unique rather than trying to be like everyone else. I made a lot of great friends and the people who work here have helped me out a lot.

YES provided me with a program called AIGA Link. I am very passionate about art and this program helped me explore other kinds of art styles besides drawing in a sketchbook. The workshop takes place on the third Saturday of each month. We get to try out print making, painting on a canvas, photography and many more. Link also offers scholarships for high school seniors and there is a gallery show that they host so students can display all of the work they have made in the workshops throughout the year. I don’t think I would have access to Link if it wasn’t for the YES Foundation.

Vanida's Senior Project
Vanida's Senior Project

Also, the YES Foundation helped me with my education. Although I didn’t graduate on time, they helped motivate me and kept me on track. I don’t know if I wouldn’t have been able to finish my senior project without their support. My project was to make murals on the lockers at the Arts and Academics Academy HS. My field expert is a great artist named Terry Marks. If it wasn’t for him, and Donna, a woman who helped me get paint for the mural, and my volunteers, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make these beautiful murals. I’m thankful for the YES Foundation for connecting me to great resources.

Congratulations to the Class of 2011

Connor addresses his classmates
Connor addresses his classmates

Connor Coughlin was one of the Commencement speakers of the day.  His speech was a highlight for me in a day of highlights!  I have asked him if I could share his address here.  Read it, you’ll be inspired. If you know him, you’ll be amazed but not surprised. He’s a remarkable young man.  If you don’t know him, you’ll wish you did and think to yourself, “His parents did such a great job.”  If you are an Evergreen Alum, you will be proud that he is one of us!  I am.  Enjoy,  Pat Thompson

Hello HS3 class of 2011, we finally made it.

I would like to start with a thank you to our administrators, teachers and parents who have helped to create a wonderful environment for learning, we love you and appreciate your many sacrifices.   I also want to acknowledge my classmates….while I have learned a great deal from my parents and teachers, there has never been a day when I did not learn from you.  I will never forget what you’ve taught me.

One of the many things that I have learned at Evergreen, is that we are so much more than a school:  we are a community.  We are a community of students, teachers, parents, volunteers, alumni and even businesses and taxpayers and while we are no longer students at Evergreen, we can still be an important part of this community.  I urge each and every one of you to never forget where you came from,  to keep your school and community close to your heart and hopefully someday to give back so that others may follow in your footsteps.

Now is the time in most graduation speeches where I am supposed to tell you a cliché like go forth and be great.  I’m not going to do that.  The truth is, you’re already great.  While the rest of the world was finding more efficient ways of harming each other, you provided a model of how people from all over the planet can come together…people of different colors, people who speak different languages,  people from different religions and economic backgrounds…people come together, support each other, respect each other and work together for a common goal.  I ask each of you, what could possibly be greater than that?

Another one of the things that I have learned at Evergreen is the impact that we can have on one another.  I have heard it said, that people will forget what you do…that people will forget what you say…but they will never forget  the way you make them feel.    Experts say that you will meet 100,000 people in your lifetime.   So here’s my challenge to each one of you:  make the world great!   I know that sounds crazy, but I have a simple plan that we can all follow.   Make the world great by focusing on the 100,000 people that you will meet.  Make the world great by showing them you care.  Make the world great by telling them your stories and listening to theirs.  Make the world great by telling them about a school in a place called White Center that created a culture of trust and respect and showed the rest of the world how people from all over the planet can come together and work towards a common goal.

Think about the effect that this class could have on the world.  Each of us affecting 100,000 people  and just imagine the effect that each of those people could have on the 100,000 people that they will encounter in their lives.

The truth is, if we are going to change the world we are not going to do it by designing new jeans that make our butts look better or a cooler looking car but by our connection to each other one person at a time.  I can think of no better group than the one in front of me to accomplish this.

Thank you , good luck and most of all congratulations HS3 High School class of 2011.