Letter from the Executive Director,
KYFS celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010 a significant milestone for any non profit organization, particularly one from such humble beginnings. In the late 1960’s, over a kitchen table, parents and concerned teachers and Kent School District administrators developed an evening drop in center for youth struggling with drug and alcohol problems of that era, when nothing else existed in “the little town” of Kent. All volunteer, this fledgling effort incorporated on September 21, 1970 as Kent Valley Youth Services, launching us on what is now a forty year journey changing the lives of countless children, youth and families.
Along with hundreds from across King County KYFS celebrated its 40 years on October 2, 2010. And what a celebration it was! Included in attendance we were fortunate to have a number of those visionary KYFS “parents”: Mary and Brooks Loop, Iris Watson, Dr. Trevor Bryant, Rev. Marvin Eckfeldt and Capt. Mike Grant. Significant former board members also joined in, notably important past Board Presidents Sandi Westman, Ed Crawford, and Theresa Ahern. Every former Executive Director we could locate also joined the celebration: Cheryn Weiser, Linda Dorsett, Hans Rasmussen and Peter Mourer (Emma Bezy passing away in 2007). Their combined efforts have resulted forty years later in what is now a professional organization staffed by more than a hundred individuals across six program areas, highly respected by colleagues across King County. As an acknowledgment of that recognition, King County, issued by proclamation of the King County Executive, “October 2, 2010 Kent Youth and Family Services Day in King County.”
It’s been 40 incredible years, and I've been humbled and proud to have spent the last 11 years leading this fine organization.
However “we aren’t done yet” (nor am I) in providing innovative yet best practice, evidence based programs that are “working toward a better future."
In 2010 we did just that. Within the pages of this 2010 report to the community you will browse a sampling of how each KYFS program implements these so called “evidence based” best practices that are changing kids' lives every day during the past year. You’ll also read some of the stories of these changes shared directly from the kids and their families of what positive gains they’ve made when they found their way to KYFS in 2010.
Its only through the support of the community, our partners at the local cities of Kent, Covington and Federal Way, King County, Washington and federal governments… United Way of King County, King County Housing Authority, Puget Sound Educational Services District… philanthropic investments by The Seattle Times, Seattle Foundation, Boeing, Raikes Foundation First Citizens Bank and others… the many partner community based agencies, particularly Navos, Auburn Youth Resources and Valley Cities Counseling and Consultation... and of course those hundreds of individuasl among you who find KYFS the place you each choose to support, that we can bring these successes to families.
And of course, the KYFS Board of Directors who, year after year, truly direct KYFS to the position it has obtained some 40 years after a humble, visionary beginning over that kitchen table!