Intern & Internship Spotlight: Asian Counseling & Referral Services And Nouriyah

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ACRS promotes social justice and the well-being and empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other underserved communities – including immigrants, refugees, and American-born – by developing, providing and advocating for innovative, effective and efficient community-based multilingual and multicultural services.

Nouriyah’s Thoughts

What do you know about ACRS and tell us how your internship is going so far.

ACRS is a non-profit organization that provides social and behavioral services to people in the community, a majority of whom are Asian refugees or immigrants. This includes help with employment, citizenship, immigration, and health. My supervisor is Yong Lim, the Program Supervisor for ACRS’s employment and training services. I assist some of my co-workers at Job Club, helping visitors fill out job applications and producing resumes and cover letters. Outside of Job Club, I help Yong with typical office tasks such as filing and inputting data. This is my first time in a traditional office setting so it’s all a new experience to me.

What kind of skills do you want to gain by the end of your internship and what personal skills have benefited ACRS already?

By the end of my internship, I hope to strengthen the patience I have with others. In high school, I learned the hard way that not everyone learns and understands everything at the same rate. Helping non-native English speakers at Job Club is pushing me to be more patient, kind, and sympathetic towards them. I have to pay attention and be polite when I can’t understand someone, and adapt towards every individual’s needs. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone, but is definitely helping me grow to be a more understanding person. Since I had never worked in an office before, all the tasks Yong made me do for the first time were new to me. But I think being a quick learner has definitely helped me. Yong always seems surprised that I get work done so quickly. Although the tasks she assigns me are pretty basic, I try hard to be as efficient as possible.

Do you see yourself having a relationship with ACRS or any similar companies in the future?

I am not afraid to admit that I am still figuring out what I would like to do in the future. I am currently trying to double major in International Relations and Communications, considering a minor in Education, and I have interests in a number of other things that are not school-related. Although, as an IR major, I have to take two years of a language, and I am starting Arabic this Fall. I can potentially work for governmental or non-profit organizations where I can use Arabic to help translate. ACRS is a good resource for non-English speakers and I can see myself potentially working for ACRS or similar organizations.

Would you say your internship opened up any other fields of interest in your career path?

I am still undecided about my career path, but my internship has definitely opened my eyes to what I can do with International Relations and Communications. I don’t think that I can work in a traditional office setting, but I’m glad that I’m getting the experience now.

If you could change anything specific from your internship, what would it be and why?

I wish that I could see the other departments at ACRS. I specifically intern for Yong so all the work I’m doing is assigned by her. ACRS is a big organization and I feel like I can learn a lot more about what it does for the community by stepping outside of our office.

Are there any attributes you will carry forward into your future from interning at ACRS?

I’m learning to be a lot more professional and responsible by just being at my internship. I’m surrounded by adults so much that I feel out of place because I know I look a lot younger than my age. I used to think that I carried myself pretty well, but I almost felt like it wasn’t enough when I walked into ACRS. It’s the typical office experience and it was a bit startling to know that I wasn’t seen as a kid by the people around me. Wearing business casual attire and listening to my co-workers speak to each other was all too real. It’s a different world out there. My internship makes me feel like an actual adult.

Tell us about an experience where your skills were put to the test.

I think it was my very first day at ACRS and it was also my first time at Job Club. After Yong gave me a tour, she was quick to throw me in the computer lab where Job Club was taking place. I decided to observe one of my co-workers who was helping a woman look at job listings on Indeed. I was thrown off guard when the man behind me asked me if I could help him. Although I had experience searching for jobs on my own, it was a completely different ball game at ACRS because I have to help make the perfect application based on little knowledge without previously knowing the people. I used my computer skills to help the man upload his resume onto the website, and then used my research and writing skills to help him with a cover letter. I had never written a cover letter before, not even for myself, so I was panicking on the inside. My co-workers were busy helping others, so I forced myself to stay calm, take it slow, and appear confident. After half an hour, we successfully wrote a simple cover letter for the janitorial position that the man was applying for.

Would you recommend others to intern/volunteer at ACRS?

I think it takes a certain person to really enjoy interning/volunteering at ACRS. People who are a lot more outgoing and active probably wouldn’t like it as much as someone who’s quiet, likes to be organized, and is up for doing random assignments. I admit that the work can be a bit tedious, but I also find it relaxing at times.

New Heights Panelist: Personal Finances and Affordable Living

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How do we start saving for the future? What are easy ways to save, even on a tight budget? Should I get a credit card to build credit for the future? How does credit even work? We will be answering these questions and many more during this week’s panel discussion.

Panelist Bio’s

Kory Kumasaka

Counselor, community worker for past 25 years.  All around good guy, likes naps, Air Maxes and books.  Values human connection and new thoughts more than money but likes money more than being broke.  Education is knowledge, not always intelligence.

Sara Bloom

the Service Board’s newest team member, joining as the Development Coordinator. As the Development Coordinator, Sara focuses on fundraising, grant writing, community engagement, budget management, and helping ensure that tSB has a long, successful, and stable future ahead of them. She was lucky to be raised by parents who placed a strong emphasis on financial discipline and is continually learning how to be a better manager of her own funds and future.

Alex Chin

Graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Currently employed as direct sales outreach, A/P, and warehouse manager for a commercial-industrial LED lighting specialist.

Investment Profile: Long-term IRA and Roth IRA positions for tax management and retirement planning. Real estate investments made as a side income to W-2, focused on positive cash-flow and long-term appreciation. All investments are structured to minimize personal time commitment and evaluated on 5 year windows with 20 year horizons.

Intern & Internship Spotlight: The Seattle Foundation and Lauren

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About The Seattle Foundation

Seattle Foundation’s mission is to ignite powerful and rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Grantmaking is a major way Seattle Foundation invests in the future of Greater Seattle. Each year, we award grants to hundreds of nonprofit organizations working to make meaningful and lasting change in our community. We vet these organizations carefully and stay in close touch.

We are excited to have Lauren support our Community Programs grantmaking and research team.  This summer Lauren is helping Seattle Foundation increase our community impact by co-designing methods to gather feedback and learn about community priorities.  She’s also contributing to our learning and evaluation model by diving deeply into our 2015 grants dataset and helping us tell our story of impact.

Lauren’s Thoughts

Tell us a little about yourself, your personal goals, and where you are at in life.

My name is Lauren and I am an incoming junior at Ingraham High School. At this point in my life, everything seems to be about school. As of now, I am working to get my IB diploma and finish off my last two years left of high school. Although school is usually something that students would describe as stressful and/or boring, education is something that I really value in my life. I’ve known that I wanted to go to a prestigious college ever since I was in middle school and since then, getting into my dream university has been my ultimate goal. When I’m not in school or studying, I’m probably practicing my viola, hiking, or catching up on my favorite blogs. A few other goals I have are to travel outside of the states, start a gratitude journal, and to begin each morning with meditation!

Tell us what you have learned about Seattle Foundation and what you have found to be relevant to your personal interests.

I had little knowledge on Seattle Foundation before starting my internship but I am so incredibly grateful that I ended up with them. The foundation works with a lot of cool non-profits, some of which I have even volunteered at/been involved with. The overall goal of Seattle Foundation is to learn how to better the community and then implement an action plan. I think it’s really awesome how Seattle Foundation strives to create positive change because that is exactly what we need in our city.  That kind of hospitality is what I appreciate the most and I am happy to now be a part of the team who are responsible for making Seattle a much more vibrant place.

Would you say that this internship has been beneficial to you and your growth?

The most beneficial part about this internship to me is the actual work experience. I have to keep track of my hours, complete tasks diligently, engage with other people in a professional manner, use new computer software, and on top of that, stay organized. These are all skills that I will need for the future so I’m really glad I got a head start. I’m excited to apply all of the knowledge I take from this internship and bring it with me back to school and later in life when I start my own career!

Have you learned of any new job opportunities or avenues that you did not know of before?

Yes, actually it’s funny because I always see all of these skyscrapers downtown and never bother to wonder what people actually do in them. After my first day, I realized how much actually goes on in them. The Seattle Foundation itself is only on one floor of (I’m guessing) thirty and within that floor there are probably a few dozen offices each for specific people with specific roles. I have never pictured myself working in an office after college, but I kinda liked the overall ambiance at the office- very organized and orderly. Probably because I’m a neat freak.

What have you learned specifically from your internship site hosts that you found to be helpful?

Specifically, because I do all of my work on my laptop, I have definitely improved my computer skills. I would say I am now competent at using Microsoft excel and Survey Monkey. More importantly, what comes with that, is my increased ability to problem solve. Although I love new technology, it can sometimes be hard to navigate, so I’ve been testing out different methods of how to complete my tasks and learning as I go.

What do you wish you could have known before you started this internship?

There isn’t much to be honest. Maggie and Aaron are both incredibly nice people and they are very clear when giving directions so I haven’t really faced any obstacles so far. I guess if I had known I was going to be doing so much computer work I would have freshened up on my coding skills or familiarized myself better with some of the software we have been using.

Have you noticed any changes in your perspective? Maybe on how you see non profits, on the kind of work you have been doing, on what your future goals are, or anything?

Working AT a nonprofit and working WITH nonprofits has made me realize the importance of such organizations in our community. Not only are they crucial to the economy by providing steady jobs and stimulating other facets, but they provide so much for the people. NPO’s help all citizens to voice their aspirations, needs, and concerns for consideration by policy makers which is the first step to creating inclusive and flourishing community. This internship has opened my eyes to all of the efforts that these organizations are making to help make King County a better place to live in.

New Heights Panelist: Event/Action Planning & Outreach

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This week’s panel focuses on learning to plan events and how to engage your community. As many of us know, planning a successful event can be a daunting task. We will hear from our panelists on their advice for planning a great event and how to engage the community to attend and take action.

Panel Bio’s:

Katjana Pierce

Katjana Vadeboncoeur Pierce is an event planner and theater professional based in Seattle, WA.   As Co-Owner/Founder of Revel Rouser Events she designs and produces events ranging from weddings, galas and non-profit auctions to outrageously themed, extravagant private events. Katjana has planned events for numerous local non-profit organizations such as NAMI WA (National Alliance on Mental Illness) producing their annual 5K fundraising walk, and Theater Puget Sound, leading their red carpet award show at the Seattle opera house for the city’s theater luminaries.  With a background in theater directing, teaching and performing, Katjana approaches event design with a unique understanding of what makes for an evocative and engaging experience.   She has taught theater arts at the University of Washington, The Northwest School and Eastside Preparatory School, and was a longstanding resident teaching artist and staff member at Seattle Shakespeare Company.   Katjana served as Co-Artistic Director of Washington Ensemble Theater (2007-2010) providing artistic leadership for this nationally recognized, innovative ensemble theater, and also acted as Resident Director and PR/Marketing Manager.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude as a Regents Scholar from the University of California at Irvine with a BA degree in Drama, and has been on the Theater Faculty at Cornish College of the Arts for the past 10 years, where she teaches classes in performance, design, directing and personal entrepreneurship.

Jacob Chin

Jacob Y. Chin serves as the Operations and Outreach Coordinator at tSB and is responsible for program logistics, recruiting program participants, managing operational systems, social media communications, and administrative tasks. Jacob has been involved with tSB since 2010, when he first joined as a prophet. He’s continued to invest his time and energy in our community as a snowboard instructor and volunteer since then. Jacob recently graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in American Ethnic Studies and Sociology. As a student, Jacob dove headfirst into student activism and community organizing around social justice issues. Through these experiences he developed a fiery passion towards using education, self-empowerment, and mentorship as a means to fight for social justice. At his last job he was the Operations Manager for the International Examiner, an Asian American Pacific Islander community newspaper, where he was responsible for research, scouting new points of distribution, and timely delivery.

Muhamed Mansour

Muhamed is one of the University of Washington’s Multicultural Outreach and Recruitment members assigned to recruit Southeast Asians. His assigned schools are located throughout the local Seattle metro area. Muhamed was born in Seattle. He was brought up in “the south end”. He attended Franklin High School and Seattle Central College then transferred to the University of Washington where he earned a degree in communication and a minor in Diversity. He is currently in the middle of pursing a graduate degree. His passion for the UW extends far beyond its athletics programs, which he follows dearly. Muhamed deeply believes that the UW is able to offer any person from any background a great education and life experience. His primary responsibility is to recruit Southeast Asians to come to the UW.

New Heights Panelist: Living By Your Values

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Each week, New Heights interns enjoy a panel lunch about a variety of topics and are joined by a panel of experts who share their knowledge and experience in an open conversation.

The first panel was focused on Living By Your Values: making life and career choices based on the values that inform our lives. We were honored to have the panelists below come and share their passions and help us understand how identifying our values will make the decision process smoother and more enjoyable, especially in relation to finding a job and the relationships we rely on.

Panelist Bio’s

Florence Sum

Florence is a native Seattlite and dedicated nonprofit professional working towards dismantling oppressive systems, especially in education and social services. A majority of her experience and her passion is around mentoring youth holistically as they pursue their education pathways (whatever that may be) with an equity lens. You can often find her volunteering in the API community, expanding her mind by attending as many workshops related to social justice as possible, and learning Krav Maga. Currently, she is working on an anti-oppression coalition in Seattle with her mentor.

 Khalil Equiano

Khalil Equiano is an emcee from the Southend of Seattle and a former tSB Mentor and project coordinator. He is known by many tSB alumni and admired as an older brother, someone who makes others feel comfortable and relaxed. 

 Kwaku Sefa-Dedah

Kwaku is co-founder and CEO of Homevibe, an early-stage real estate tech startup in Seattle. Prior to startup life,  he was a product manager at Microsoft where he helped to launch the first version of Office 365. He majored in Economics at Swarthmore College and also studied Business and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. A Seattle resident for the past 8 years, he lives in the Central District with his wife Esi and their dog Zinc.

New Heights Panelist: Activism & Advocacy

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This week’s panel focuses on identifying problems–personal, cultural, and social–and learning to take an active role in finding solutions. We will focus on what advocacy means to each of us and will pick a social justice issue that the youth are passionate about and develop an advocacy project based around it.

Panelist Bio’s:

La Rond Baker

La Rond Baker is a Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Washington and graduate of the University of Washington School of Law.  Ms. Baker has served as counsel of record in lawsuits challenging: delays in the provision of mental health services to pre-trial inmates awaiting those services (Trueblood v. DSHS); the denial of religious accommodations to Muslim inmates at the Pierce County Jail (Tarrer v. Pierce County); the placement of immigrant detainee hunger strikers in solitary confinement (Ramirez-Martinez v. ICE); and the City of Yakima’s at-large city council election system under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act (Montes v. City of Yakima).  Prior to law school, Ms. Baker worked for Powerful Voices and the Service Board, taught GED classes at the King County Correctional Facility, and led a seminar on the school-to-prison pipeline at the University of Washington for students who tutored at the jail for credit. Ms. Baker serves as a Trustee for the Washington State Bar Association’s Civil Rights Law Section.

Allison Masangkay

Allison is a Filipina originally from northern New Jersey.  After living in Sequim, WA for eight years, she moved to Seattle to study at the University of Washington where she is pursuing a dual degree in Business (Entrepreneurship) and Anthropology. She has since been an active part of Undergraduate Diversity Services (UDS)—a pipeline program for underrepresented students of color from high school to post-graduation—at the Michael G. Foster School of Business, as well as the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program, and other organizations focused on environmental & social justice, art, and leadership. Allison’s greatest passions lie at the intersections of social justice and art, which she plans to explore as part of her career.

Lilia Cohen

Lilia Cohen just finished her second year at Whitman College, where she studies Politics and Philosophy. She is interning with #ShoutYourAbortion for the summer, mostly working on youth engagement strategies through collaboration with other local organizations and planning a summer cultivation event at the Vera Project to get more young people involved with SYA. She plans to pursue a career in either law, social justice, advocacy, or some combination of those.

Apply to our Summer Internship & New Heights Alumni Program

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Hunting for a summer job?

Looking to spend it with your tSB family?

tSB is hosting our summer internship and career development program  to place YOU in some of the hottest job sites in Seattle. APPLY NOW

Also coming to you this summer: NEW HEIGHTS

New Heights is an 8 week summer program focusing on career & professional skill development, goal setting, and advocacy. It allows tSB to make good on our promise to help close the opportunity gap for our youth. Participants in New Heights will benefit from up to 64 hours of workshops and panel presentations from tSB staff and professional coaches, up to 64 hours of internship experience and opportunities to engage in extensive outdoor adventures.

We know our students emerge from their first years at the Service Board with a strong set of life skills and improved confidence that helps them succeed. Building from these outcomes, New Heights further supports our alumni in taking their next step into adulthood and ensures they have the tools, community and opportunity to thrive.

Alumni of tSB programming, ages 18-22, must apply by Friday, June 24th 2016. If accepted, participants will start programming on July 8th with a kick-off event in West Seattle. From the kick off to the end of the program on August 24th, program participants will meet for a full day of workshops every Wednesday at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and spend an additional 1-3 days per week at an internship site.

Application deadline: Friday, June 24 2016


Give Big is coming! How can you support tSB?

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Get Stoked!
The Seattle Foundation’s 6th annualGiveBIG is right around the corner onTuesday, May 3rd, 2016.
No need to wait, you can schedule your gift today by following this link: givetSBIG

GiveBIG, The Seattle Foundation’s annual online fundraising event is an incredible opportunity to show tSB some love. Thanks to The Seattle Foundation, whatever amount you choose to donate through our online giving profile will be stretched to maximize YOUR giving. Do you hear the chorus of celebratory song? We do!

You can support tSB today by heading over to our online giving profile. Not only will The Seattle Foundation stretch all gifts made through this interface, but our amazingly generous and supportive business partner evo will be matching all new gifts supporting the Service Board. Once again, cue the chorus.

Your gifts will help ignite the spark in tSB youth and ensure that they thrive, while strengthening their passions, determination, and development. In the words of one of our peer leaders:

I found tSB through my best friend, who at the time was a peer leader. I had no idea how to express my opinions and where I stood with most social justice issues. I was unaware of the things that are affecting our communities and the people we love. During program I have met adults that not only respect my voice and opinion but also listen to what I have to say. I have met people that are now my family. The Service Board is not just a nonprofit–it is a family, one where people from all cultures and all opinions come together to challenge each other’s ideas with love. I am a youth that has acquired a new vocabulary that accepts all people and ideas. I am a youth that is able to respectfully challenge other people’s opinions. I am a Peer Leader that is excited to watch the tSB Prophets grow and I’m excited for the challenges 2016 will bring because with tSB, I can do anything.
-Graciela, 2016 Peer Leader

How does snowboarding support youth development?

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People often ask us: ‘Why is snowboarding such an important part of tSB programming?’ Last Sunday, tSB completed all seven scheduled trips to Stevens Pass and the Summit at Snoqualmie as part of our 2016 six-month core program, and after more than sixty hours of incredible riding, the answer is undeniably clear.

Snowboarding is at the core of tSB programming because it provides an ideal experiential learning platform for students to push their growing edge. Many tSB students have never been to the mountains, let alone ridden a chairlift with a snowboard strapped to their feet. Students are uncomfortable, excited, nervous and curious. Alongside adult mentors, some of whom are also learning to snowboard for the first time. Students overcome their fears and soar to new heights while cementing friendships and acquiring an invaluable set of life skills: learning to depend on a community of support, exercising vulnerability, safely exploring their fears, and most importantly, enjoying their lives and themselves.

Back in Seattle, while engaged in a Wednesday night workshop processing life experiences or exploring opportunities, we often refer back to the lessons encountered on the mountain and pull deeper meaning from our days spent snowboarding together.

Our trips to the mountain this year were outstanding. We had snow, lots of laughter, and even some sunshine. Many thanks to all of our business sponsors and two dozen volunteer snowboard instructors, who dedicated over 50 hours each of their time. We are forever grateful for your support and thank you for being an integral member of tSB’s family.

For our final adventure of the year, we’re headed down to Mt. Hood to ride above the clouds, celebrate our community and wrap up an impactful and life changing year.