Bridge Conference 2023 Highlights—Forging Brighter Futures

What an event! Together, we set out to Reflect, Connect, and Reimagine our work to advocate and uplift the young people around the state of Washington. With our collective wisdom and knowledge, we achieved our goal. Now, we have a rejuvenated pathway to Forging Brighter Futures.  Where are you rooted?  On Bridge day one, we opened the conference with a powerful message from our keynote speaker, Melannie Denise Cunningham. Her talk centered on our foundation and how we show up for ourselves and others. Ms. Melannie challenged us to reflect on our upbringing and on the cycles of socialization that … [ ]

Celebrating the legacy of YDEKC, a pivotal King County coalition and convener 

When Youth Development Executives of King County (YDEKC) was created in 2010, the youth development sector in King County was made up of loosely connected agencies, often competing for scarce funds and ill equipped to stand in equal partnership with other youth-serving sectors. From the beginning, YDEKC’s goal was to organize, activate, and empower our sector to achieve more equitable results for King County’s young people. It developed into a diverse coalition of leaders representing youth-serving community-based organizations. Its members partnered with schools, communities, and families to ensure every young person has what they need to learn, grow, and thrive.  … [ ]

Spotlight on BSK grantee, Bright Futures Creative Collective

Four incredible community-based organizations, each with different missions, have teamed up to provide a variety of enrichment and social-emotional learning opportunities to youth across central, south, and west Seattle under the name of The Bright Futures Creative Collective.

A powerful intersection between expanded learning, housing, and healthcare 

Last week was National Summer Learning week and I had a great time visiting sites in the Pierce County community where some very cool and innovative summer learning programs are happening right now. I am a firm believer that the intersecting systems that support youth outside of the traditional school day (and during the summer months) are critical to fostering passion and purpose on a young person’s journey to becoming who they are destined to be. This ecosystem of out-of-school time spaces is uniquely positioned to address things that schools miss or simply cannot take on.   Here’s a quick … [ ]

TAM educators discuss what accessible art means to them and their community

The Tacoma Art Museum (TAM)’ s mission is to “transform our communities by sharing art that inspires broader perspectives and cultivates a compassionate future.” TAM aligns with their mission for both young people and their families through after school and community-centered programs. A group of Museum Educators share their stories from the community and their passion for accessible art for all.

Vamos Outdoors Project is creating space for belonging

Whatcom and Skagit counties are known for their rich agriculture and breathtaking views of the North Cascades. However, access to its dense nature is often limited to those with the means to get outside. Starting in 2018, the  Vamos Outdoors Project began their mission of “building community through connection to the land and access to the outdoors.” What, on the surface, appears to be a traditional sports program is also deeply committed to addressing the mental health and resource needs of migrant youth and their families.  “All the programs, outdoor and in the classroom, are working towards the goal of … [ ]