Author Archives: Hazel Cameron

About Hazel Cameron

122f@4youth

Looking Back & Looking Ahead

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As we reflect on the many things we achieved in 2014 and look ahead into the remaining months of 2015, we’re excited to share some 4C Coalition accomplishments and news with you.

Our future looks bright. We continue to build bridges with partners like the City of Seattle, United Way, the City of Kent, King County Superior Court, Casey Family Program, National CARES Mentoring Movement, Seattle Foundation, and other supportive groups.

With help from United Way Volunteer Impact and 501 Commons in 2014, we wrote our skill-based volunteer induction manual. The manual provides job descriptions for skilled volunteers to assist us with social media, office administration, and program management.

Contributions from United Way also helped us develop a girls’ group. Employee Olivia Ford—who was once a 4C mentee herself—wrote the grant application (her first) and developed the group. The girls’ group invited young women to create a dream board and reflect upon their future goals while also learning about the history of Martin Luther King and civil rights.

We started four other group mentoring gatherings in 2014. Group mentoring is generously funded by SYVPI (Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative), the City of Seattle, KCSC (King County Superior Court), and United Way.

Last year, we traveled with eight youths and five mentors to the National Black Criminal Justice Youth Mentoring Summit in Orlando, Florida. While there, we were wowed and proud to witness one of our youths win the summit’s youth spelling contest! Another of our youths who attended met with leaders from the federal government and sat on a panel with fellow African American youths from across the country, dignitaries from the State Department, judges, and criminal justice experts.

The 4C recently launched a database project to review and track the youths we serve. This database will help tell a statistical story to donors, funders, and policymakers about the work we do in the community.

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Real Change Article

Hazel Cameron and Mike Heinisch recently wrote an article for Real Change (Volume 20, No 14).

New Children and Family Justice Center will help improve conditions for incarcerated youth

Oct 9, 2013, Vol: 20, No: 14

Those who work closely with troubled teens have found that when skilled and compassionate professionals step in to help, something powerful happens. Often, these young people turn their lives around. Continue reading

Savannah

Sally Clark, Seattle City Council President, highlighted the great work of one of 4Cs mentees in a recent blog post. The full article is below (Sally’s Blog, Original Post).

Local young social justice activist has no need for spell check

When I meet with young people or have interns in the office I invariably tell them to keep honing their communications skills. Different fields need different specialized skills, but all fields need strong communicators. And, so, I’m pleased to spotlight up and coming strong communicator Savannah B, a junior at Rainier Beach High School.

Savannah recently travelled with Seattle’s 4C Coalition to Washington DC for the 50thanniversary March on Washington Memorial Youth Mentoring Summit. As if that participation wasn’t enough to do Seattle proud, Savannah then did one better and won first place in the “Spell it Like it Is” Spelling contest.

Savannah participates in the 4C Coalition’s Pen or Pencil group mentoring program, a program that focuses on connecting young people with the educational system (the pencil) to head towards success and keep them out of “the pen.”

I recently had a chance to e-mail Savannah about her success.

How did it feel to be in Washington, D.C.?
I felt honored to be able to walk the same streets as people I look up to as heroes, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, former presidents, and congressmen and women.

Also, being in Washington, D.C. gave me a new perspective on life because I saw that even though we’re so far apart, Washington, D.C. and Seattle are more similar than different.  For example, Washington, D.C. having the history it has, I was surprised to learn that it has just as much poverty as Seattle.

It was also a nice experience being in the competition with many different educated young people from around the country, but to me the experience was more about Washington, D.C., the city itself.

What’s your favorite part of the Pen or Pencil Group Mentoring program?
I enjoy coming together with the young and elders of our community.  Although we think we know a lot, we learn something new no matter how young or old we are.

African American people face a lot of stereotypes and it’s good for all of us to learn about our shared history.  Like in D.C., we learned that African American people built a lot of the buildings.  When you look at them you might think a white person, or a Hispanic person built them if you don’t know the history.  I think it’s good for us to know our African American heritage.

What’s your favorite subject at Rainier Beach? Why do you like it?
IB (International Baccalaureate) Math Studies. It’s a little bit of geometry, a little bit of algebra. I like it because of the teacher, he’s cool. I like the way he sets up the classroom; we sit in groups instead of rows.

What’s in store for you next?
Winning this competition made me realize that I can go straight to a four year university instead of going to a community college for two years before transferring to a four year university.

Winning makes me feel more confident in myself.

It makes me want to more seriously pursue playing basketball and my dream of becoming a pediatrician.

Congratulations again, Savannah!  If you’re interested in being part of the Pen or Pencil Mentoring Program visit the 4C Coalition –

Seattle Cares Mentoring Movement

Special Evening with Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement

Thursday, October 18, 2012, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center
104 17th Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98122

For Info: dcameron@seattlecaresmentoring.org or Donald Cameron (206) 720-6134

Image of Susan TaylorKeynote Speaker:

Susan L. Taylor, Founder, CEO of National CARES Mentoring Movement.

You’re invited to an evening of entertainment, and celebration and to meet with Susan L. Taylor.

To learn more about Seattle Cares Mentoring Movement, visit the website: Seattle CARES “A New Way Forward”

Please share this flyer with interested groups: Susan L. Taylor – Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement – SAVE THE DATE

Press Release: Washington State Mentors announced Hazel Cameron the 2010 Champion of Mentoring.

SEATTLE, Washington (May 10, 2010) – Washington State Mentors announced Hazel Cameron the 2010 Champion of Mentoring. Cameron is the Executive Director and cofounder of the Clergy, Community, Children/Youth Coalition (4C). The 4C Coalition is a faith-based mentoring agency for youth overcoming obstacles, setbacks, and mistakes to pursue opportunities for achievement, options, and fulfillment.

The 4C Coalition formed in 1999 to address racial disproportionality in Seattle’s school dropout rates and the numbers of youth involved in the King County juvenile justice system. Since the inception of the 4C Coalition, Cameron has performed every role involved in developing the 4C Mentoring Program, from recruiting, training, and matching mentors to mobilizing community stakeholders to sponsor programs for safe and healthy communities. The 4C mentors are volunteers. They make a one-year commitment to spend an hour a week with their mentee. Mentoring relationships often become lasting friendships. The mentees are referred to the 4C Mentoring Program from the King County Superior Court and the City’s Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative Program. Typically, the youth are on probation or at risk. A number of youth are assessed at low-medium to high risk to reoffend.

As a counselor in the early 90’s with the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA), Cameron helped pioneer evidenced-based mentoring for youth “too hardened to reach.” In the years Cameron was with JRA, research showed a 35% reduction in recidivism among mentored youth. Cameron’s work might be described as a race with time to match mentors with waiting youth before drugs, violence, or long-term incarceration claims them. The 4C tradition has been
one-on-one, gender-matched mentoring. Recently, however, the 4C Coalition has gained the space and staff to offer group mentoring, extending its reach to more youth in less time.

In addition to leading the 4C Coalition, Cameron serves as Chair of Washington State Mentors Provider Council and on the Board of Directors. In 2008, Cameron invited Susan Taylor to bring the National Cares Mentoring Movement to Seattle. Thus began the Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement, a resource for local mentoring groups to recruit qualified mentors. Cameron is the Chair for Seattle Cares Mentoring Movement. Cameron’s dedication to youth is a reflection of her profound authenticity and humanity. Six years ago, she lost her eldest son—a high school junior with plans and promise—to racial violence exacerbated by alcohol. At a party, he intervened to stop the harassment of a classmate. It cost him his life. Cameron and her husband and other children met their unfathomable loss with unwavering commitment, heightened urgency, and compassion for all youth impacted by violence—victims and perpetrators. The Cameron family honors Glenn, their fallen son and brother, by going forward with like courage. “I am excited to tell you about our vision!” Cameron begins. “To pull together our diverse community to take on the issues that impact our youth—involvement with drugs, alcohol, prostitution, and gangs. To speak a common language and collaborate to implement change.”

On May 21st, Cameron will be recognized at the Washington State Mentors’ annual Champions of Mentoring Benefit Luncheon on the ms Zaandam cruise ship at port at Seattle’s Smith Cove, sponsored by Holland America Line.