After a little more than a decade of leading YDEKC, I have decided that’s its time for me to transition away from my role as founder and Executive Director in the fall of 2022. While there never is a perfect time to step away, this feels like the right time for me – and for YDEKC – to explore what is most needed now as we emerge from more than two years of living and leading through a pandemic.
I have been honored to be a part of the incredible work YDEKC has undertaken to strengthen and unify the youth development sector here in King County and in helping to advance the field across Washington and nationally. I feel very proud of the impact we have had. Youth development organizations are recognized as essential contributors to supporting young people to thrive. Together, we contributed to the success of the first Best Starts for Kids Levy, and passage of BSK 2.0, and now we are working to build a youth development strategy and funding stream in Washington State. Our work on social and emotional learning and supporting whole child, whole day efforts perhaps made our region more ready to address the needs of young people experiencing and emerging from a pandemic. Most of all I’m grateful to be part of a more connected community of leaders supporting young people to thrive in our region.
With any leadership transition comes the opportunity to reflect on how to carry the work forward in the most effective way that serves the organization’s mission. Over the past several months, keeping at the forefront the importance of being accountable to our members and ultimately the youth of King County, I worked with YDEKC’s Executive Committee and full Advisory Board to explore what’s next for YDEKC.
A Transition Taskforce of Advisory Board Members was formed to explore these questions and make recommendations. Taskforce members include Angela Griffin of Launch, Anthony Austin of SEYFS, Elizabeth Whitford of School’s Out Washington, Jordan Goldwarg of One World Now! and Ranna Daud of Afterschool All-Stars. The Taskforce identified the Justice Together Project team of Carmen D’Arcangelo and Cara Mia Villalobos to facilitate the process and creation of recommendations for YDEKC’s Advisory Board. You will be hearing more from them later this summer about next steps and opportunities to get involved. There is undoubtedly still much to do to ensure Black, Indigenous, and Youth of Color in our region thrive, and that the leaders supporting this work are also supported within thriving organizations.
I feel so thankful for the opportunity to learn with and from so many incredible leaders over the past decade – including fantastic current and past colleagues that have worked with me at YDEKC over the years. I am now ready to find the next right step on my journey as I support YDEKC to do the same. We will be in touch in the coming weeks.
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