Thank You PSKS Volunteers!

On November 5th, staff, interns and participants came together to thank the over 100 volunteers who have donated their time to PSKS in the last year. Volunteers are a vital aspect of our success and help with anything and everything including being on the Board of Directors, tutoring students, doing mock interviews for LEAP, teaching classes like yoga, helping us with IT issues, serving meals, and volunteering at our events, just to name a few. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Will at

Here are the winners from the nights awards:

Board Member of the Year: Katie Keller who is the Board Secretary, organizes Secret Santa and brought 50 of her closest friends to the gala.

New Volunteer of the Year: Jim Crotteau who works in the kitchen every Friday, bringing warmth and energy

Tutor of the Year: Doug Phillips who tutors in RISE and then works on any other project he can get his hands on including redesigning our memorial wall.

Technical/ Contracted VolunteerTie between  Alyssa Pizzarro who teaches yoga every Monday and Wes Chandler who worked miracles on our computers, especially around security

Participant’s Choice Award:  Jane Lamb, the Cookie Lady! What else needs to be said?

Longevity Award: Jack Lee who has helped with our IT work for 13 years!

Longest Active Tutor: Lisbet Nilson who has tutored in the RISE classroom for 5 years.

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My World Matters

Mmyworldmattersy World Matters follows 6 LGBTQ Homeless Youth in Seattle as they visually tell their stories. The opening of the exhibit will be at the Capitol Hill Library at 5:30pm and will include a panel description. The exhibit can be seen at the Branch through January 3rd. Thank you to the Northwest Network at the Seattle Public Library for their support. Click here for more information!

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Meet the Interns: Cody!

image1 (2)Every single participant who walks through the doors at PSKS has hopes. They have dreams. They want to be something.

Cody loves gardening. When asked about their goals and aspirations, Cody wants to have a home and build their own farm. But this wouldn’t be any ordinary farm. Cody is constantly putting other before themselves at PSKS and this farm would be no different. This farm would take homeless and at-risk youth and provide stable housing and employment and gateways to further education.

But how did Cody find this love of gardening? Cody and their Grandma would garden together when Cody was just 6 years old. They would get in trouble when they would rip up carrots from the neighbor’s gardens.  Cody became homeless a few years ago when their grandmother was no longer able to them. Cody’s community was facing drug problems. Knowing they needed to get themselves out of that situation, Cody packed their bags and headed to a friend’s couch in Seattle.

For 3 years Cody bounced around, staying in shelters, in their truck, and on friend’s couches. Cody found out about PSKS through a friend, first entering in the RISE GED program. Cody is a few weeks into their LEAP Internship, working in the Community Center, working tirelessly to make the center a welcoming experience for all. Cody was interested in the position because he was able to give back to the PSKS community while making connections and working on job skills.

Cody will be able to put those skills to the test immediately! Cody has an internship with Seattle Youth Garden Works and just got a paid position for full year. We’re excited to have Cody for the remaining of their internship and we can’t wait to see all the great work they have ahead.

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PSKS Goes to City Hall

Just before Mayor Ed Murray declared a state of emergency around homelessness in Seattle, PSKS was at City Hall advocating for more resources for homeless youth on Capitol Hill. 10 Participants and 2 Staff testified to the Seattle City Council for an additional case manager to serve this critical community. The very next day, PSKS was back at City Hall, this time in the Mayor’s Office, where he signed the legislation for additional funding for homeless services. There is a lot to be worked out in the coming weeks, but PSKS will be there every step of the way to ensure that the voices of our youth are being heard and represented.
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Happy Birthday PSKS!

image1 (1)On September 9th, 1995 GED Instructor at the Orion Center Summer School School and PSKS Co-founder Elaine Simons and her students, a group of homeless and at-risk youth and young adults, came together to directly advocate against the Becca Bill, an anti-truancy bill that criminalized children and strengthened the school to prison pipeline. 20 years later PSKS has served thousands of homeless youth and young adults who became homeless through no fault of their own, running from abusive households, relationships, and situations.

image2 (1)From that first day in 1995 PSKS has believed that the youth themselves know their biggest needs to ending homelessness and many of the programs PSKS has introduced over the past 20 years were created by PSKS participants. Case management, GED tutoring, paid internships, shelter, food, clothing and basic survival supplies are just some of the services PSKS provides today.

But we also know that PSKS could not be where it is today without you, our dedicated volunteers, donors, service providers and community members. PSKS has a commitment to ending youth homelessness in Seattle as we look to our next 20 years. Today is a celebration of all PSKS has accomplished, but there is still work to do and hundreds of youth to serve. Will you join us for the next part of our journey?

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