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.
With the help of many talented people, we revamped our website to share the stories statistics can’t tell. Beginning this month, we will also start utilizing social media to share real-time stories of our success and challenges in the community. If you’re on social media—please follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We’d love to see you on there! Rebecca Sullivan and her husband, Eric Westberg, have generously donated a financial contribution that allowed us to engage the services of a social media consultant.
Rebecca and Eric also provided funding for us to hire a writer to interview mentors and write stories about their mentoring experience. We plan to share these stories with you on our blog. You can find them on our new website! Accompanying the stories on the blog and on social media, we are fortunate to benefit from Rebecca’s talents as a professional photographer. Rebecca has photographed our mentors, mentees, employees, volunteers, and supporters. She also regularly attends and photographs our rallies and outreach events. The 4C is grateful for their generous support and help advancing our mission.
In my quiet way, I continue to dedicate my work to my son, Glenston Page Anderson. We lost Glenston to youth violence and racial discrimination in 2004. As a mother and activist, I will not be silent anymore. His name, his legacy, and to keep speaking up for the lost voices of black boys and black men in this country are why I do this work.
I tirelessly work to advance the 4C mission in honor of my adult son, who to this day, still struggles with his brother’s death. We must realize: one mistake, one loss, one grief, and one pain has great impact!
How do we end the senseless trauma our youths face? Mentoring can and does make a difference. It’s simple. Every child needs a human being who will listen.
Will you be that listener? That donor? That volunteer? That supporter? I hope so. We need you.
The 4C Coalition