WE…Can Change the World

  • Written by Kristen Hamilton

I was invited to witness an amazing event on May 3rd celebrating students and educators in Washington state…WE Day Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll kicked off the day and got the kids hyped and loud!  He said, “Our adults need you, need your guidance.”  The place erupted with cheers.  I was amazed at how loud 16,000 students could be.  Carroll, also the Co-Chair of WE Day Seattle, was just the start of the of celebrities and musicians that entertained and motivated the group over the next five plus hours.
Hosting the event throughout the day were Jack & Jack, singer-songwriter duo Jack Johnson and Jack Gilinsky; Olivia Holt, recording artist and actress; and Anthony Gonzalez, actor, singer and musician. 
Hip-Hop Artist Sol played his hit Jump In and Noah Cyrus sang her hit song All Falls Down.  Marlee Matlin spoke of following her dream of acting although born deaf.  Paraplegic Spencer West talked about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro by  using his arms only and his documentary Redefining Possible.  Jacob Tremblay, star of Wonder, was joined onstage by spokesperson for Treacher Collins syndrome, Nathaniel Newman, to raise awareness about the genetic disorder.  Motivational speaker and author Lizzie Valasquez brought the crowd to tears with her powerful words about bullying.  Then Ann Curry, Rasheda Ali, and Diane Guerrero all shared moving stories with the young crowd that continued to cheer.  As day wrapped up Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback, along with his fiancé Ciara, singer and songwriter, thanked the amazing group of students for their service to others.  Lastly Rachel Platten ended the day by singing her hit Fight Song along with the entire arena. 

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Exciting programs offered at your local library

  • Written by Hannah Coffaro | UW News Lab Student Journalist

The first place I went when I got my driver’s license was the library. Although that might surprise you, The King County Library System has a wide range of programs and community events happening every day for people of all ages many of which I had no idea about.

Here are a few of the programs the library system offers at the Woodinville Library:

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It’s About Community at Acres of Diamonds

  • Written by Kristen Hamilton

Long before founding Acres of Diamonds in 1995, Pearl Tadema has always had a big heart for homeless women and children.  She wanted to help, but wanted to go beyond just providing a roof over someone’s head.  She wanted to work with people to heal them and find a better life and future.  So she returned to school to earn her Masters degree in counseling, completed the paperwork to become a nonprofit, rented a house in Duvall, and worked with shelters, police, and community services to find mothers needing help.  “It had a very grassroots start,” said Kristin Jack, Senior Development Manager at Acres.

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No university, no problem: Alternative routes for high school graduates

  • Written by By Gena Wynkoop, UW News Lab Student Journalist

High school graduation is around the corner for local high schoolers, and there are many options other than attending a four-year university.             

Some families may not have the means to get their graduating students off to a four-year school, but programs like AmeriCorps and JobCorps can be excellent alternatives.

For example, AmeriCorps is a national service program created in 1994 that engages Americans of all ages and backgrounds in addressing community needs.

“Individuals selected to join AmeriCorps are service leaders through nonprofit groups, public agencies  and faith-based organizations across the country to help meet critical needs in the areas of education, health, the environment, disaster services, veterans and veteran families and economic opportunity,” said Amber Martin-Jahn, the executive director of Serve Washington at AmeriCorps.

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Making a Difference One Conversation at a Time

  • Written by Kristen Hamilton
There are people that you will meet in your lifetime that have an aura of positive energy.  When you spend any amount of time with them you somehow feel happier. Audrey Phillips, at just 24 years old, is one of those people.  I was grateful to meet her recently and to learn about her inspirational project 365 Meaningful Conversations.
Audrey is a 2012 graduate of Woodinville High School and has been on quite an amazing journey the past few years. Although she’s done a bit of traveling with attending college in Maine, working as a ski instructor in Park City, Utah for a winter season, and working as a wilderness guide in Durango, Colorado, her journey has been much more than just moving from one locale to the next.
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