OPERATION: Sack Lunch honors group at annual luncheon
On March 31, OPERATION: Sack Lunch (OSL)
honored YES' Latino H.E.A.T. program with an Outstanding Volunteer Group Award. The award recognizes the group members' dedication to helping OSL provide nutritious meals to the hungry in the Puget Sound region.
Latino H.E.A.T., which stands for Hispanos en Acción Together, helps Hispanic young adults celebrate their shared culture, build lasting and positive friendships, pursue leadership opportunities and give back to their communities.
At right: OSL Volunteer Coordinator Camille Faulkner, Latino H.E.A.T. member Judith, and YES counselor Tina Morales.
Learn more about Latino H.E.A.T. >
2015 Invest in Youth Breakfast wrap up
Four youth share compelling stories of struggles, now look forward to bright futures
On March 4, 2015, nearly 1,000 community leaders gathered at the Hyatt in Bellevue to hear stories of hope and strength from four youth who struggled with depression, drugs, anxiety, trauma, bullying and more.
Keynote speaker Penny LeGate also told the story of her daughter Marah, who died of a heroin overdose in 2012, and asked the question, "what could Marah have done if she'd lived past 19?" More >
From gang member to artist and community volunteer
Placido came to YES when he was 14 because he was struggling with drugs and gangs. He had been suspended from school, getting into fights and resisting his family's efforts to help him. Sometimes he wouldn't come home at night, and missed many of his classes — then he was referred to YES.
“When I first came to YES, I didn’t care, I didn’t want to talk. But didn’t know I needed help.”
At YES, Placido received the support he needed through the organization's Substance Abuse, Success Mentoring and Latino H.E.A.T. programs. Through his involvement with YES, Placido has made positive choices and is now on track to graduate. He has new friends and has reconnected to his passions of art and soccer. He is even giving back as a volunteer mentor to other at-risk-youth.
“I can count on YES for help, they helped me and my family. I was able to think again, reflect and realize that I want to contribute and share my story so that others realize that in this world all challenges can be overcome and that you can go on and get ahead.” More >
Photo by The Seattle Times