Teen Program Success
Laurie's Experience with Seattle Teen Programs
"Late Night has provided me with a safe environment where I can go hang out with friends and play basketball and enjoy myself. I first started going to Late Night when I moved to Seattle, at 13. It was a place I was able to make new friends and try new things like basketball. That's where my love for the game first began. I was, and still am, the only girl that came to play, but I think that is what got me as good as I am today. Through Late Night I had a chance to play against the boys that were always bigger, faster, stronger and more skilled than I was but that was the challenge. Their abilities challenged mine which in turn made me a better player."
"I was lucky to find my first job through Late Night with the YES (Youth Engaged in Service) program. A YES volunteer worked late night most nights that I attended and they steered me towards the program. The next summer, I applied and became a YES volunteer at Bitter Lake Community Center, which helped me get to know the staff and the surrounding community. Through Bitter Lake I gained resources at other Community Centers that eventually helped me mature into the young woman that I am today."
"After the YES program I followed it up by volunteering at Bitter Lake and getting more involved in my community. Upon realization of how dedicated I was to working at Bitter Lake, Cynthia Etelamaki, site supervisor, hired me to work as a Pre School Counselor during the summer and even sometimes during the school year when one of the counselors couldn't make it. Now I work at Bitter Lake as much as I can, whether it is with the Pre School, helping out behind the desk or working at special events we host."
"I still come to Late Night and play basketball and socialize. I now see a lot of younger kids going through the same process and experiences I went through. Late Night is a great program that gives young people a place to hang out and grow into young adults."