Diving into traditions, Pacific Islander youth see a bright future with nonprofit’s help | The Seattle Times

The Asian Counseling and Referral Service’s OCEAN group helps teenagers connect with their Pacific Islander heritage. The nonprofit is one of 12 organizations making a difference with The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy.

Source: Diving into traditions, Pacific Islander youth see a bright future with nonprofit’s help | The Seattle Times


October’s UPRISE Education Summit was the 3rd Annual and it was a smashing success!  This video is a beautiful and a powerful testament of the organizing work that is happening with the Pacific Islander community in Washington State around prioritizing our youth’s education within the public education system.  We are proud of the students of OUR FUTURE MATTERS who together make up one of the key organizing groups for this Summit since its beginning!

Bryan Tucker, Filmaker.

#UPRISE2015 #OurFutureMatters


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 http://www.cbcef.org/youth-major-taylor.html 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 ed.ewing@cascadebicycleclub.org

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.