Seattle (May 2021) – Friends of the Children-Seattle is a nonprofit that pairs youth with a salaried, professional mentor for 12+ years. Today the organization announced that seasoned nonprofit leader Lacie West would be the new executive director.
“We are ecstatic to have Lacie join our Friends-Seattle family,” said Jerome Roache, Friends-Seattle board president. “Not only does she bring a wealth of knowledge about the world of nonprofit leadership, but she also has a strong passion and extensive experience in the area of race and social justice, which is fundamental to our mission.”
Lacie is a Seattle native with strong ties to this community. As a woman of color, Lacie’s understanding of how systems of oppression persist in our communities has guided her career. Before joining Friends-Seattle, Lacie was the Executive Director of the Service Board. She collaborated with the staff and board of directors to build a strategic plan for 2021-2024 that focused on promoting a youth-led anti-oppressive culture. She spent time diversifying funding while empowering staff and volunteers.
“I’m truly appreciative of this opportunity to serve as the next executive director for Friends-Seattle as it continues the powerful work in mentoring youth to discover their own power to become the changemakers that will create the just world we envision,” said Lacie.
The Friends-Seattle chapter, founded in 2000, is deeply rooted in the South Seattle community. This past year, the organization pivoted to meet the immediate needs of youth and their families during the global pandemic. They have also embarked on an essential journey to become an anti-racist organization to serve their youth better and uplift their community. It is an honor to have Lacie lead Friends-Seattle in this process.
“I’m excited to get started with the work and learn from the amazing team on how we can best grow to ensure we are meeting the needs of our youth and our community,” said Lacie.
Lacie will also develop a new comprehensive strategic plan that will prioritize becoming an anti-racist organization, prepping our youth for post-secondary readiness, ensuring staff wellness, and maintaining financial stability. Lacie is passionate about the Friends-Seattle mission and has a strong belief in the power of mentorship. She has had and continues to have mentors in her own life who have been instrumental in her personal and professional growth.
Lacie received her B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington Foster School of Business and a minor in Communications. She is also a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Lacie is a great asset to Friends of the Children,” said Jerome. “We are very excited to see her take us to the next level as an organization.”
About Friends of the Children
Friends of the Children is a national nonprofit with the mission of impacting generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles through relationships with professional mentors – 12+ years, no matter what. Our successful model is now in 22 locations around the country and in Cornwall, U.K. Visit friendsseattle.org to learn more.
Media inquiries: please contact Latima Charbonneau, 206-240-5919.