If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past year, it’s that community care is vital to the health and wellbeing of the populations we serve. Though our work continues to center the needs of young women* we have also modeled courageous changemaking and leadership through the development of dynamic responses to social injustice, exacerbated economic fallout, and the negative mental health issues that have arisen in response to a year spent in the isolation of COVID-19.
The Best Starts for Kids (BSK) levy is a voter-approved initiative passed in 2015 which invests in positive development for children and youth from birth to age 24. Through collaborative partnership, BSK enables community-based care and assistance in pursuit of happy, healthy, safe, and thriving children, youth, families and communities. Since 2015 it has supported hundreds of thousands of children and tens of thousands of youth and young adults by focusing on health, education, leadership, and homelessness prevention.
We are honored to be a recipient of BSK funding and remain grateful for the ways we have been able to pivot to meet the needs of our youth during a tumultuous year. In the past year alone we were able to:
- Deliver safe and effective virtual and small cohort in person programming that provides youth with peer and mentor connections for physical and mental wellness.
- Continue innovative STEM education in the form of Y-WE tech and our annual STEM day event.
- Meet the technology needs of our youth through the formation of a tech equipment library that provided computers and hotspots for online pandemic learning.
- Support parents, guardians, and alums with vital resources for unemployment, housing assistance, and education scholarships.
- Deliver 859 meals and 3000 worth of grocery gift cards to assist families.
We affirm the necessity of holistic ongoing care for youth and families as central to thriving communities and are happy to endorse the renewal of the Best Start for Kids (BSK) Levy.
We hope you will join us in supporting our communities by voting YES on August 3rd for King County Proposition 1. When renewed BSK will continue to partner and invest in community-based efforts to support families while addressing and repairing the critical inequalities raised by COVID19.
“Best Starts for Kids [support] allowed us to have more capacity to be able to engage in this work…Now I can just be in my programs. Since I have more time and capacity, I can take time to do professional development and to educate myself more and to make that a priority for my staff on my team.”Reagan Jackson