August 23, 2017
Dear friends, family and community members,
One thing I have learned from my tenure with the Service Board is how relationships flex and change as people grow and take on new challenges. I write this letter as I end my interim role as tSB’s Executive Director and move onto my next big challenge!
I hope this letter may serve as an expression of gratitude, an affirmation of my commitment and lasting support, as well as naming opportunities for tSB to continue to grow.
I wish to express my resounding appreciation to the tSB staff members I have been able to work with. Their dedication to radical honesty, self reflection and commitment to excellence drives the integrity and authentic community building that makes our program unique. tSB staff have inspired, mentored, and uplifted me. They remain the primary reason why I know tSB will continue to fulfill its mission with grit and everlasting swagger.
As a staff member, I have taken immense pleasure in contributing to an environment that celebrates youth agency and creates tight, long lasting bonds between people. Communities like ours are best practiced as a verb and cannot be upheld without shared accountability. Here is my pledge for the future to perpetuate our mission and support our collectivity:
- I will continue relationships with the youth, peers and mentors I have connected with. I will show up and I will listen.
- I will shepherd in new leadership at the Service Board in ways that are appropriate and helpful.
- I will always be a resource for institutional knowledge and critical feedback.
- I will yield to the next generation of tSB leaders and will suspend judgement as tSB innovates in unexpected ways in the future.
- I will hold the organization accountable to the highest standard as demanded and outlined by the youth of Seattle. I will never put my voice above that of the youth we serve.
In return, I expect this organization to continue to grow and surprise me. Here are some areas where I think this can happen:
- I look forward to watching the Service Board continue to hire and support radical, emerging leaders (folks new to the non-profit world, brown folks, folks without degrees, folks with degrees in completely unrelated fields, young people, old people, trans folks and gender non-conforming folks, queer people and especially program alumni). I hope one day to say, “oh yeah, tSB’s amazing new ED was in the program when I worked there.”
- After 21 years, the Service Board is in a unique place to take a look at how we interact with social justice issues. Is it enough to do workshops and service learning? Perhaps the needs of marginalized youth in Seattle extend past talking about why their communities are underserved. What would it look like for social justice to be integrated into our mission? Let’s be clear about who we serve and why! How would this affect our relationships with our donors and how we can work on strengthening our donor relationships so they feel informed, are deeply connected to our youth, and feel accountable to our mission.
I look forward to supporting our youth leaders and community as we continue to wrestle with these important questions.
The Service Board has been my refuge for over 10 years. It is the place where I am told that my potential is boundless, that I am inherently intelligent, that I am worth challenging and that my voice always matters. The Service Board has been a community that has healed my wounds and even replaced them with beautiful affirmations. It has been my honor to serve this community and I cannot wait to witness the future of our organization!
WHEN I SAY T-S, YOU SAY B! TS…
With boundless warmth and affection,
PS. Want to know what’s next for me? I do too! I have plans to return to school and become a midwife, but as I leave the Service Board I am soundly embracing the unknown. Also, I’m getting married to my partner who I met in tSB (yay!). I look forward to sharing all my new adventures with my tSB family as I have for the past 10 years and plan to for the rest of my life!