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November 13, 2018

Inspiring Greatness 2018: A Success!

Thank you for your support!

THANK YOU for making a difference for our youth.

On Saturday, October 13th, over 300 dedicated supporters came to Inspiring Greatness and helped raise over $800,000 that will be directly invested in young people facing multiple systemic obstacles. From kindergarten through graduation, no matter what!

We were inspired by our executive director, Steve Lewis, who congratulated each youth who attended on specific successes they have recently achieved. These small successes that are actually huge. Because from kindergarten to 12th grade, there are hundreds of opportunities for youth without adequate support systems to fall through the cracks. And where many fall through the cracks, our young people rise up. They are empowered to translate their challenges into triumphs. And the result of all of these small successes our youth are more confident, resilient, and ready to walk down the aisle at graduation with a plan for their future.

We also heard from Janet Bowers, a teacher at Scriber Lake high school, who worked closely with professional mentor Nakeya to help Kalicha, a program alumni, graduate from high school. "During the two years Nakeya and I worked together, there ended up being over 500 emails and texts of communication regarding Kalicha and her well-being," Janet said. "Professional mentors like Nakeya … do more than just build relationships between their students and teachers. They are also an advocate for the family." Because of Janet and Nakeya's relationship, they were able to ensure she walked across the graduation stage last June.

Finally, to end the evening, Angel, a program graduate, came back to tell her story of triumph. After dealing with an abusive stepfather and losing her mother at 12, she followed a path of darkness until her professional mentor, Doneka, helped her find her way. Angel has graduated from high school and started a career through the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsman union through Seattle Pacific College, which allows her to earn college credits as she gets paid for hands-on learning. This job enabled her to save $500, which she in turn decided to donate to Friends of the Children to help serve more youth. "I refuse to let another twelve-year-old girl fight through what I did without the support of someone like Doneka," Angel said.

It was special to have an inside look into the special relationships mentors have with their youth and the communities our youth live in. Thank you all for attending!

View More Photos

Watch the video below to see a week in the life of Tasha, one of our professional mentors!