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Supporting a Diverse Community

Lidia Harding
Agency news

Recently, in order to stay current with issues faced by today’s youth and families, the YES Board of Directors and staff have developed new language for our mission and vision statements and established a new diversity, equity, and inclusion statement. Learn more about these developments from key staff in this video below:

Thanks to the continued support of our community, we’re helping ensure equal access to mental health and substance use services by providing multi-lingual and culturally sensitive treatment, creating a safe space for diverse students to be themselves, and influencing organizational efforts to advance racial equity.

Reflecting a multi-cultural community

It is a key part of YES’ mission and current strategic plan to represent and mirror the full diversity of our community through hiring practices that ensure staff with a diversity of language and cultural capacity.

We focus on recruiting and hiring staff who are bilingual, and we currently have 16 staff with language capacity in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Farsi, Persian, Gujarati, Hindi, and Korean.

When Antonio, 9, was grieving the loss of his older sister, his mother reached out to YES specifically for a Spanish-speaking counselor. This allowed the whole family to participate in Antonio’s recovery, and the culturally-sensitive approach made her feel more “tranquilo” or stable.

Providing a space to be “you”

Thanks to contributions from the community, culturally diverse students in Lake Washington and Bellevue high schools have a safe space to be themselves.

In 2021 we expanded support, to the Latinx student community in Sammamish, Redmond, and, new last year, Juanita. YES is also partnering with Juanita High School’s African-American Student Advocacy Program (AASAP), in response to our community’s need for more support for BIPOC youth.

Also, in 2021 BGLAD, YES’ support group for LGBTQIA+ youth, was expanded to include a group for middle school students, and offer both in-person and virtual weekly support, at no cost to youth and families.

These groups continue to offer critical support to youth today with staff facilitators who are specialists in the area of gender identity, racial equity, and are also certified in co-occurring disorders, able to treat both mental health and substance use challenges.

YES stands with you

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important to our community. YES stands in solidarity in support of social justice and ending systemic racism.
YES stands with you and continues to be a voice of advocacy in our community to promote and support positive change.

“Within YES, we are committed to a continuous deep dive in this important work, striving to be the best organization to optimally impact and serve our diverse community of children, youth, and families,” said David Downing, CEO of YES.

This work was only made possible through the support and contributions of our community. Supporters provide ALL children, youth, and families in East King County with a chance at recovery.  You too can be a lifeline in a young person’s life today by making a gift to provide ALL youth with access to mental health and substance use services! Whether you donate $5 or $500, every gift will make a difference in the life of a child or youth seeking hope and recovery.

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