Community

Leadership group offers ideas for Eastside

Audience members listen during a community project presentation for Leadership Eastside at the Lake Washington Technical College campus in Redmond May 14.  - Chad Coleman/Reporter Newspapers
Audience members listen during a community project presentation for Leadership Eastside at the Lake Washington Technical College campus in Redmond May 14.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Reporter Newspapers

Leadership Eastside's (LE) Class of 2011 unveiled its community projects May 14 at the Redmond campus of Lake Washington Technical College.

LE includes professionals from a broad base of public, private and non-profit organizations, who collaborate on service projects of regional importance. The three-year program fosters networking and appreciation for each participant's unique contributions.

Team presentations highlighted the following issues:

• Unemployed professionals are assets to organizations seeking volunteers. But they quickly lose interest if their volunteer assignments don't compliment their skills, said Lisa Brouelette, a Bothell resident employed by the City of Kirkland.

Redmond City Councilmember Hank Margeson, who works for Safeco Insurance, said this LE group, "Match.org" sought ways to "improve the volunteer experience" by matching volunteers with opportunities that reflect their areas of expertise.

Members of this LE team will serve as volunteer "consultants" for non-profit agencies, conduct audits of their needs, analyze and report the results and make recommendations on how they can better utilize volunteers' acumen, explained Claudia Malone, a Kirkland resident who works for Triad Associates.

Redmond resident Tracy Hoien, of the Lake Washington Schools Foundation, shared that Hopelink and Congregations for the Homeless are eager to work with this LE group.

• "Mental illness is everywhere. No one is exempt," said Pam Gill, a Kirkland resident representing Evergreen Healthcare. A show of hands confirmed that nearly everyone in the room had a relative, friend or acquaintance who has struggled with mental illness.

Ramona Clifton, a Redmond resident who works for IDD Aerospace, explained how Redmond Mayor John Marchione, an LE graduate (class of '08) issued a challenge to the LE class of '11. He asked them to examine the root cause of many Redmond Police and Fire calls.

Karin Duval, a Redmond resident and community leader, explained how this LE team met with police from Redmond and neighboring communities to discuss the number of mentally ill individuals who are repeatedly arrested because they don't receive the help that they need.

Increasing awareness of recidivism and garnering support for the King County Mental Health Court are the goals of this LE team.

• Andy Swayne, a Seattle resident employed by Puget Sound Energy, presented some shocking statistics about teen drug/alcohol use in our area.

Eastside students exceed the national statistics. Twenty six to 28 percent say they've consumed alcohol before age 13. By the time of high school graduation, 71 percent have tried it.

This LE team hopes to bring OSSOM (Operation Student Safety on the Move) to Eastside communities. Created in Oregon, OSSOM began as a student-led initiative to prevent drug/alcohol abuse by teens. The program is expanding geographically and will also address teen tobacco use, bullying/violence and suicide.

Ticson Micah, a Bellevue resident who works for the Port of Seattle described outreach to Eastside school districts, youth councils, PTAs, school principals and counselors to identify, "What is in place or not in place?" to educate kids about dangerous behaviors.

• To create "a healthier, greener Eastside," another LE team has launched a Web site, www.eastside360.com.

Erin George, a Seattle resident who works for Friends of Youth and Patrick Bannon, who lives in Bothell and works for the Bellevue Downtown Association were among members who described the Web site's lists of eco-friendly festivals, farmers' markets, hazardous waste disposal locations and tributes to "Hometown Heroes" who set a good example.

• CareerLynx, "a fact-based guide for career planning" is the project for an LE team that is interfacing with young adults and counselors from LWTC, Eastside high schools, teen centers and social service agencies.

Members such as Amy Arquilla, a Kirkland resident who works for Hopelink and Anne Hamilton, who also lives in Kirkland and works for Microsoft are streamlining facts about jobs in thriving industries, what kind of training is needed for those jobs and what the jobs pay.

To learn more about Leadership Eastside, call 425-736-2800.

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