Y-WE is celebrating tremendous momentum as a new year of programming is underway. As we enter the giving season, we’re thrilled to share our latest Annual Report, which captures highlights from the 2022-2023 program year – from stories to photos and how our community’s powerful investment is changing lives and helping Y-WE young people step confidently into their futures. Read on for a letter from our Co-Executive Directors, Silvia & Reagan and check out the full report.
This year, we crossed the threshold of Y-WE’s adolescence as a nonprofit. Grounded in our purpose and guided by a new strategic plan, we’ve exceeded Y-WE’s participation and programming goals while investing in Y-WE’s organizational health in vital ways.
Together, we’ve aligned internal systems to support growth and sustainability – operational, financial, programmatic – while integrating rejuvenating professional and personal development to our growing team. We’ve attracted new funding partners who share our vision – among them the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust and King County’s first-ever Racism as a Public Health Crisis grant – and raised a record $2.6M to advance Y-WE’s work.
Yet one of the surest signs of our success is the depth and longevity with which accompany our young women*. We are witnessing the first 13-year-olds we served in 2010 pursue careers and seek leadership opportunities both within and beyond Y-WE. Five of our 14 facilitators this year were alum. Twelve of our 15 paid Y-WE Grow Interns were program returners. Over 20% of Y-WE youth we served this year participated in more than one program. Anchored by a shared mission, vision, and values, Y-WE youth are helping to shape program priorities and guide the evolution of our work.
In teaching young women* the skills to find their voice and step into leadership roles, we recognize that Y-WE must likewise model sustainable, reciprocal ways to be of service that are in alignment with the future we hope to co-create. Just as our Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) youth shouldn’t bear the brunt of working against systemic oppression, our vision is one that shifts away from extractive work culture that perpetuates burnout for the greater good.
The internal power of our community holds us through the disparate impacts of global pandemic and environmental racism on BIPOC health and communities, school shootings, and the contestation of women’s bodily autonomy and trans rights in concert with a systemic devaluing of Black life. We don’t just witness the impact of these gaps in care and belief, we experience them together with the youth we serve. An abundance approach allows us to live into our values at a deeper level.
This represents Y-WE’s legacy and the mandate from the youth and communities we serve: to expand circles of wellbeing in ways that fuel both individual agency and collective liberation.
We celebrate tremendous momentum as we head into a new fiscal year and are infinitely grateful for your support.
Reagan Jackson & Silvia Giannattasio,