The 2015 Community Impact Awards: Youth Development

October 19, 2015




The first shelter for runaways and homeless youth on the West Coast, YouthCare provides shelter, counseling, education and employment training as well as prevention services for at-risk youth between the ages of 12 and 24. The nonprofit operates the only under-18 emergency shelter in Seattle, the only transitional living program in Washington for homeless LGBT young adults, the only dedicated beds and services in the state for victims of sexual exploitation and one of the nations first shelter programs for refugee minors.

Three in four of YouthCares clients are leaving a violent situation, says Jodi Waits, director of development and communications. In 2014, YouthCares Orion Center served an average of 355 youngsters a month.

If we do not intervene, it will be more expensive and harder to serve them as adults and we will miss out on what they have to offer, says Executive Director Melinda Giovengo. Its truly our responsibility and our loss if we do not get that potential unlocked.

The First Tee of Greater Seattle
The First Tee of Greater Seattle uses the game of golf to teach youngsters skills such as goal setting, problem solving, and managing emotions and conflict. More than 1,600 young people participate in the program annually at five King County golf courses. First Tee also provides training and a curriculum to local physical education instructors and 70,000-plus students at 162 area public and parochial schools.

Juma Ventures
Since opening a Seattle office in 2013, Juma Ventures has employed more than 300 local low-income youth to work concessions at Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field. Current participants in the program have saved an average of $1,267 for college. Additionally, 95 percent of Juma students are on track or within two credits of graduating on time, in a district where the graduation rate for low-income students is about 70 percent.