Treehouse Awarded $296,400 Through King County’s Best Starts for Kids

SEATTLE, October 10, 2017 – King County Executive Dow Constantine today launched the newest Best Starts for Kids initiative, one that will provide young people with the opportunities and tools they need to weather challenges during adolescence and be ready to flourish as adults.

The Youth Development Initiative–a partnership between King County and 32 nonprofit organizations including Treehouse–will provide leadership opportunities, mentoring and other services that help young people create the safe, healthy relationships they need to achieve their full potential.

Through the initiative, Treehouse has been awarded $296,400 to help fund its Graduation Success program, which has dramatically increased graduation rates from less than 40 percent to 89 percent for on-time and fifth-year seniors.

Click here and scroll to the bottom for a full list of investments.

“More young people throughout King County will reach adulthood healthy, connected, empowered and ready to thrive as a result of the partnerships we are creating with Best Starts for Kids,” said Constantine. “The initiative we are launching today will create leadership opportunities for the generation that will shape the future of our region.”

The partner organizations successfully competed for $12.2 million in Best Starts for Kids funding to provide programs that have been shown to support healthy development. They include mentoring programs, leadership and engagement opportunities, programs that allow young people from many backgrounds to explore their identities and connect to their communities and programs to develop skills in building healthy and safe relationships.

King County received 171 applications for the initiative, demonstrating the need for dedicated public funding to support healthy youth development. This is one of several initiatives funded by the voter-approved Best Starts for Kids levy to support youth and young adults, including upcoming funding for after-school and summer learning opportunities and programs to create a pipeline to success for young people impacted by the juvenile justice system.

Meeting needs across King County

The initiative will fund a wide range of activities to reach young people across King County’s urban, suburban and rural communities. The goal is to create opportunities for young people from many backgrounds and communities to engage their strengths, unique identities and life experiences in designing and accessing programs that meet their needs.

Here are a few examples of what the Youth Development Initiative will achieve:

  • Trail Youth will partner with young people experiencing homelessness in the Snoqualmie Valley to build a youth coffeehouse. The coffeehouse will create a safe place for young people to connect with opportunities and services. Trail Youth will use the space for a mentoring program to build connections between young people and their communities and empower them to lead successful lives.
  • With youth leadership and guidance, API Chaya will create new social justice leadership and community-building opportunities for Pacific Islander, Asian and South Asian immigrant youth. Youth will have the opportunity to work with community-based mentors to develop their ideas, facilitate peer education workshops and plan community-building events by and for youth.
  • The funding will support Urban Native Education Alliance in their ongoing efforts to develop young leaders on their Clear Sky Native Youth Council. The program will pair adult mentors with Native youth to develop academic and leadership skills, with the goal of improving education outcomes.

Funding ranges between $123,060 and $543,355 to support programming for up to three years. King County will work closely with partners to set goals and closely measure the performance of each program.

About Best Starts for Kids
Voters in 2015 approved a six-year levy proposed by Constantine to fund Best Starts for Kids, an initiative to help put every baby born and every child raised in King County on a path toward lifelong success.

It invests in promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies that promote healthier, more resilient children, youth, families and communities. It is considered the most comprehensive approach to early childhood development in the United States, starting with prenatal support, sustaining the gain through teenage years and investing in safe, healthy communities that reinforce progress.

About Treehouse
Founded in 1988, Treehouse is Washington’s leading nonprofit organization addressing the academic and other essential support needs of youth in foster care. Treehouse helps more than 7,500 youth each year through programs that focus on their academic success, fulfill key material needs and provide important childhood experiences every child deserves. Learn more at www.treehouseforkids.org.

Media Contact
Trent Freeman
Associate Director of Marketing & Communications

[email protected]

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