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 “Real Change Article”


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: 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.

Press Release: 4C Coalition Wins 2009 People’s Choice Awards

CityClub’s 2009 Community Matters Campaign (CMC) focused on education and economic opportunity – two issues of particular urgency in our community today. In partnership with The Seattle Foundation, we hosted public dialogues grounded in the findings of the Foundation’s newly released Healthy Community Report Over the course of CMC, we convened hundreds of participants – both online and face-to-face – to discuss what we can and need to do individually and communally to overcome barriers and achieve positive results. We invited participants to vote for their top-priority community investment to make educational and economic opportunities available for everyone in King County. They responded 2-1 in favor of the following two strategies outlined in the Healthy Community Report:

  • Involve families and communities in student achievement and aspirations
  • Increase support for high-quality public schools

The CMC Steering Committee – made up of representatives from CityClub, Communities Count, Executive Service Corps, The Seattle Foundation, Seattle Works, The United Way of King County, and the YMCA of Greater Seattle – chose 6 winners based on these two strategies. Our winner selection demonstrates the ecology of community engagement needed to make a difference. The 2010 People’s Choice Awardees represent a spectrum of organization format, scale and focus. One is a recently emerged organic and quickly changing organization formed by and for youth. Another unites youth and parents. Others bring diverse community sectors together to foster change and opportunity. Still others work on the systemic level through policy development and advocacy. It’s together – across these various modes of organization and action – that change can be created and sustained in our community.

We invite you to join us in celebrating the diverse and dynamic organizations that make up the 2009 People’s Choice Award winners on the evening of November 16 from 6-8pm at City Hall in Seattle. For more information visit

4C Coalition – 4C is an acronym for Clergy, Community, and Children/Youth Coalition. In partnership with King County Superior Court, 4C provides mentors to young persons involved in the juvenile justice system. The 4C Coalition is not a program to solve a problem, but a process to provide possibilities: mentors to youth, church and community resources to families, and a united voice to the community and government agencies to educate and effectively address youth issues.

Press Release: 4C Coalition Receives Community Awards

4C Coalition Receives Two Community Awards
Mentoring Program Seeks to Eliminate Violence Among African American Youth

SEATTLE – The 4C Coalition Mentor Program has been recognized with two community awards for its outstanding work with at risk youth in King County. On October 30, Bank of America presented its prestigious “Local Hero Award” to Hazel Cameron, executive director of the 4C Coalition Mentor Program. Cameron was nominated as this year’s recipient by the Washington State Mentors organization, and received the award during a breakfast ceremony at McCaw Hall. Bank of America also contributed $5,000 to the 4C Coalition Mentor Program to help the organization continue its work in the community.
The 4C Coalition Mentor Program also received a “Community Service Award” from First African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Seattle-based youth mentoring program is the first organization to ever receive this award from the church. “In the past, many individuals have received this award. It is such an honor to be the first organization to be a recipient,” said Cameron.

First A.M.E. Pastor Reverend Cary Anderson presented the award on November 2, at First A.M.E.’s “Notorious B.I.C.” (Brothers in Christ worship services) Men’s Day 2008. The church also contributed $1,000 raised during the 1000 Man March last month to 4C Coalition Mentor Program, and encouraged members of the congregation to serve as mentors for the many at-risk youth who are dying daily in our streets and falling through the cracks in our educational system.

“Mentoring is such critical work. I have seen how it impacts youth in the juvenile justice system, and those at risk of entering it. I am humbled to receive the recognition through these awards as I live my mission doing what I have been called to do. This movement is near to my heart, especially after losing my son to an act of violence,” Cameron expressed. “The recent tragic killings of two more of our youth this past week is proof that we need to act fast. We must work together to change the statistics”.

About the 4C Coalition Mentor Program
The 4C Coalition Mentoring Program provides committed mentors to youths, ages 13 to 17, involved in the court system. This movement is in response to the high number of youth that suffer with issues such as substance abuse, emotional, mental despair, crime, and poverty. The 4C Coalition Mentoring Program recruits, trains and supports people from the community who volunteer their time to act as a mentor for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. The mentor acts as a role model and support for the youth as he or she navigates the court system, drug court and back to the community.

In March 2008, the 4C Coalition Mentor Program helped launch the Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement, part of a national movement
spearheaded by Susan Taylor, editor emeritus of Essence Magazine. The 4C Coalition Mentor Program is also teaming up with mentoring organizations across Washington State to engage in collaborative efforts to end youth violence.

Press Release: Bank of America and Washington State Mentors Celebrate 4C

Peggy Gray (425)416-2033


SEATTLE, Wash. – Three mentoring programs, the 4C Coalition, Community for Youth and International Rescue Committee will be honored by Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen and executives from Bank of America and Washington State Mentors (WSM) at a festive event at King County Superior Court (1211 E. Alder, Third Floor Conference Room) on Thursday October 4th at 2 p.m. Community members are encouraged to attend the event and celebrate the good
work these mentoring programs are doing in King County. Refreshments will be provided. Each organization will accept a $5,000 grant from the Bank of America Mentoring Initiative and Washington State Mentors.

The initiative which is funded by Bank of America and administered by WSM supports quality mentoring programs that are serving youth living in poverty, said Lt. Gov. Owen, who is co-chair of the Issaquah-based non profit. The Bank of America Mentoring Initiative funded twelve programs in Washington and one in Idaho.

“Mentoring is a potent agent for positive change in society,” Lt. Gov. Owen says. “Research has shown that a structured and trusting relationship between a young person and a caring adult is related to reductions in youth pregnancy, violence and substance abuse. At the same time, mentoring is associated with improved academic performance.”

“As one of America’s largest corporate philanthropies, Bank of America is excited to direct funding to help mentor children across Washington state,” said Peter Joers, President of Bank of America in Washington. “There is simply no better investment in our future than strengthening the minds and spirit of our youth. We are proud to partner with Washington State Mentors to help make this happen.”

Washington State Mentors is an umbrella organization for the state’s mentoring community, providing assistance with training, recruitment, resource development, data collection, public awareness and public policy. WSM is supported by Costco Wholesale, the state Department of Social and Health Services.

For more information go to, or contact Peggy Gray at 425-416-
2033 or