Friends of Youth is happy to announce that they had a successful 10th Annual Celebration of Youth Luncheon with nearly 500 guests including King County Councilmember, Jane Hague, Suzan Delbene’s Congressional Liaison, Julia Terlinchamp and an increase in dollars raised from last year. In 2014, Friends of Youth helped 4,768 youth and young adults with safe, stabilizing and supportive services.
Signature sponsor Comcast continued to show tremendous support for Friends of Youth programs and services. In recognition of their unceasing support, Friends of Youth decided to rename the Friend of Friends Award to Comcast Friend of Friends Award. Presented with the award this year was former CEO Terry Pottmeyer in recognition of her tireless contributions and exceptional leadership. For her acceptance, Terry quoted Bob Marley by saying “you never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice”. This notion is characteristic of what drives the youth that find their way to Friends of Youth and on toward success. Friends of Youth also honored the 22 year old legacy of Joan Campbell, who passed away last fall, for her role in expanding services for youth on the Eastside.
Keynote speaker and former client Frank Kelty opened with the following compelling remarks, “I was 14 years old when I became a client of the Griffin Home where I lived from 1965 – 1968”. He reflected on how those years impacted him greatly while working toward a new life at Friends of Youth. He closed by saying “My years at Griffin Home had an extremely positive impact on my adult life. I was given direction, a sense of worth, and a belief that I could overcome the hard times I’d faced at a young age, and the issues that I would later face in my adult life”.
Former Friends of Youth clients, Gregory and Brittany gave voice to their personal stories of how Friends of Youth helped them. Gregory suffered from drug-related mental health issues and homelessness. After working with Friends of Youth, he “gained perspective” and stated that the “people within the Friends of Youth organization modeled integrity and inspired him to vision”. Today he finds “faith, family, freedom, finance and fitness” to be valuable priorities in his life and expressed hope, saying “if my potential now speaks to building a future, I have a future to build”.
Brittany was a young mother stuck in abusive relationship and not able to care for herself or child. After she moved into Friends of Youth’s New Ground Avondale Park Transitional Living, she began working with a case manager and successfully turned her life around. “I can say that because of Friends of Youth, I am a 20 year old responsible, successful young mother who is confident and inspired by the life ahead of me”. Both clients received a standing ovation for sharing their stories.
For more information, visit www.friendsofyouth.org.