Congratulations to the Class of 2011

June 22nd, 2011 by YES Staff

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.

Reflections by Stephanie Endres

February 9th, 2011 by YES Staff

My name is Stephanie. I am a 25 years old and from Seattle, Washington. I attended West Seattle High School and I am currently attending Central Washington University full-time. I have endured much pain and unhappiness in the 25 years I have been on this earth and I know that there are many others who have been through the same as I have and maybe even more. I am in the process of organizing a non-profit for homeless individuals. I want to help others.

When I feel as though I cannot go on, I remember it could always be worse and it certainly will always get better. Life is a journey…enjoy the ups and downs and never take anyone or anything for granted! There will be a time when that thing or person will not be there anymore and you will wish you would had done things differently. The highs wouldn’t matter so much if there were no lows. I believe that I am on this planet to help people have more ups than downs in their life. I would like to help anyone who needs it or wants it. I don’t always make the best decisions when it comes to helping myself but if I can help others, I believe that’s all that matters.

I have organized Stephanie’s Lifeline Homeless Outreach Program Prevention and Education so that I can live out my dream of helping people. I want to help people discover their own life’s purpose. My non-profit provides necessities such as clothing, bedding, toiletries, etc. to homeless people in the Seattle area. My goal is to eventually open a food bank, clothing bank, and housing for homeless youth and young adults.

I think that the YES Foundation of White Center is a great program that provides opportunities and role models to youth who would not otherwise have them. It is very important for youth to be involved in their community. When they are encouraged to pursue their own interests such as sports or music, they are better able to stay focused on the things that are important like school, personal fitness, and health and not be deterred by things that would negatively impact their lives. The people involved with YES are great role models who help young people make positive changes in their lives. I know this from personal experience. The type of programming that YES offers is very important to a community like White Center. I believe it helps to prevent the community’s youth from becoming the very people that my non-profit, Stephanie’s Lifeline, is trying to help.

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Visit YES on Facebook

December 13th, 2010 by YES Staff

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March 1st, 2010 by YES Staff

We have partnered with AIGA Link to offer this incredible opportunity to our kids.  This video is from the Saturday workshop provided in December. Founded in 1994, the AIGA Link Program is a Seattle-based group of board members, volunteers and part-time administrator dedicated to enriching the lives of high school students with a passion for art. This innovative program provides monthly workshops, portfolio development, gallery show and scholarship awards for higher education.  We’re thrilled to be part of their work.

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Upper Room Recording Studio

February 24th, 2010 by YES Staff

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2nd Annual YES Foundation Fundraising Dinner

November 5th, 2009 by YES Staff

Please click on the link below to see the invite:

2nd Annual Fundraising Dinner Invitation

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Upper Room Recording Studio

September 28th, 2009 by YES Staff

It was a great summer in the studio. The Upper Room served 20 White Center and Seattle teens from Southwest Youth and Family Services and Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission in addition to the teenagers from the neighborhood who participate in our Saturday program. The recording studio has provided quite a learning experience for us and we look forward to being able to leverage this incredible resource in ways that will bless the youth in our community. More on that later….

**check our photo gallery for Upper Room pictures from the summer!

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A Gift from a Great Neighbor

August 20th, 2009 by YES Staff

AAA Sewing and Vacuum on 1st Ave South in Seattle is a family owned business that has been serving our community for just about as long as I can remember. Last year, the owner of the store, Jeff Belvill, asked me if I thought any of our teens would be interested in a sewing class/camp and if so, AAA wanted to be creative in making such a thing happen. Wow. I knew that there were some middle school girls who expressed a huge interest in fashion design so Jeff and the folks at AAA pulled together the teachers and the resources needed to offer a once a week, 3 hour-long course for middle schoolers and did their own version of Project Runway! It ran for 6 weeks during the summer and it was incredible. The kids loved it! Every week they would come back and show us what they created!

AAA did it again this summer! Katie Russell and her middle schoolers from Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission summer camp were there every week learning and creating together, sharing in this experience afforded to us because people like Jeff and the teachers and the rest of the AAA staff knew that they have something special, important and downright cool to offer to the community and found a way to do so. I’m in awe of this example of adding assets to a community simply by teaching what you know and sharing what you have with others. Amazing, isn’t it?
Pat Thompson

**Pictures posted on the photos page.

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Back to School Block Party

August 19th, 2009 by YES Staff

This year’s block party was a huge success.  Hotdogs on the grill. Incredible entertainment from local artists.  Big bouncer toys including a humungous 75 ft. obstacle course.  Social service agencies including the White Center CDA, SWYFS, Child Care Resources, The Way Out, Mount View Elementary PTA, Open Arms all present to connect with people in the neighborhood and lend volunteer support making sure that this event was useful, relevant, fun and efficient.  Churches like The Cross Church and Mount View Presbyterian bringing resources and volunteers to set up and take down and do EVERYTHING in between.   Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission there, as always, to help us be Christ’s hands, feet and heart because they share in our desire to serve White Center children, youth and families with excellence.  People and youth from the neighborhood willing to loan their equipment and talent and muscle and heart to the Party.  And finally, World Vision; supplying 1350 backpacks filled with school supplies and 500 bags filled with personal care items, bags valued at no less than $50 each, for our families, loving kids with us in this very significant and meaningful way.  Thank you seems inadequate but all of us at the YES Foundation feel a profound sense of gratitude as we consider the privilege it is to work hand in hand with our partners to pull off a celebration like the one we had on 12th Ave on Friday!

Pat Thompson

**Pictures from the Block Party are on the photos page. Pictures by Keilah Fanene, Pat Thompson and Tom Slattery

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Shop at Amazon – help YES

August 17th, 2009 by YES Staff

Do you ever purchase books or download music from If from time to time you do, please consider coming here first and clicking through to Amazon through our donate page. When you place an order with Amazon, after clicking through the YES Foundation website Amazon link, YES receives a small percentage of your purchase.


So if you are looking to buy new electronics, get back to school supplies, want to prepare for upcoming birthdays or are even planning in advance for Christmas gifts, consider checking out the latest YES news here and then click through to Amazon through our site.

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