Elena believes that it’s up to all of us to invest in youth, and when we do, our whole community benefits and we create a stronger future to pass on to the next generation. Growing up in Berwyn, IL (a suburb just outside Chicago), Elena learned to value multicultural communities, public education, and the gift of having numerous top-notch family-owned pizza places within a 5-mile radius of her family’s home on Maple Ave. Within her role as Grants & Program Officer at Friends-Seattle, she oversees a portfolio of foundation and government grants and works alongside K5 and adolescent program leadership to design funding strategies that align with programming needs and outcomes.
Outside of work, Elena enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with her partner, AJ, and two pups, Frankie and Ruby. Her favorite place in Seattle is Alki Beach, which is the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present.