As we go through this new transition together, RAYS UP wants their students to know that during this time of uncertainty, it is normal to feel anxious and confused. There are many reasons to this – some of us may miss our teachers and friends at school, while others wish they could visit places such as an arcade, library, mall or community center. Whatever you may be missing, please know that this a temporary stage in our lifetimes. We often forget the impact we are having in our communities by staying home. Each time we stay home, we are saving lives and preventing the spread of this virus to the vulnerable.
A medida que pasamos por esta nueva transición juntos, RAYS UP quiere que sus estudiantes sepan que durante este tiempo de incertidumbre, es normal sentirse ansiosos y confundidos. Hay muchas razones para esto – algunos de nosotros podemos extrañar a nuestros maestros y amigos en la escuela, mientras que otros desean que puedan visitor lugares como una sala de juegos, biblioteca, centro comercial o centro comunitario. Sea lo que sea que te falte, pero por favor sabe que esta es una etapa temporal en nuestras vidas. A menudo olvidamos el impacto que estamos teniendo en nuestras comunidades al quedarnos en casa. Cada vez que nos quedamos en casa, estamos salvando vidas y evitando la propagación de este virus a los vulnerables.
ONE WAY TO BOOST YOUR MOOD
If you are feeling irritable, unmotivated or bothered – you may need to exercise. Our bodies aren’t equipped to stay in one place too long. Exercising is a great way to boost your mood and reward your body! You don’t need to go outside to have a great work out. Here is a website with workout tips and videos for teens: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/easy-exercis
UNA MANERA DE AUMENTAR TU ESTADO DE ÁNIMO
Si se siente desmotivado o molestado, debe hacer ejercicio. Nuestros cuerpos no están equipados para permanecer en un solo lugar por demasiado tiempo. Hacer ejercicio es una gran manera de aumentar su emociones y recompensar su cuerpo! No necesitas salir a hacer ejercicio. Aquí hay un sitio web con consejos de entrenamiento y videos para adolescents: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/easy-exercises.html?WT.ac=pairedLink(Se traduce al español)
Assignments from Dimmitt Middle School + Your Tutors
RAYS UP mentors contact information: Ms. Kelly: ((425) 428-8287/Kellyg@rays.org.) Mr. Jaamon: ((425) 572-2354/Jaamone@rays.org)
Asignaciones de Dimmitt Middle School + Sus Tutores
Siempre haga la página web de Dimmitt una prioridad. Desde clases básicas hasta inspiración diaria, su escuela quiere proporcionarle todos los elementos esenciales durante este descanso. SIEMPRE, SIEMPRE contacte a su maestro o a los mentores de RAYS UP si necesita tutoría: https://sites.google.com/g.rentonschools.us/dimmitt2020/home
Formally known as SPARK THIS; The RAYS UP program has been a part of Renton Area Youth and Family Services for a little over two decades changing and adapting to the needs of under resourced youth in the Renton school district. RAYS UP is a dropout prevention program designed to disrupt The School to Prison Pipeline which is disproportionately focused on the youth and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds becoming incarcerated due to school policies and harsh disciplinary actions. The faces of the program entitled as Youth Life Coaches serve as mentors, teachers (life skills) and student/family resource advocates, running groups focused on life skills and a five-week summer program to keep students engaged year around. The Youth Life Coaches engage youth at Dimmit Middle school, Renton High school, Albert Talley and have expectations to expand in the near future.
The team consist of Imani Hampton, formerly a Lead Youth Life Coach who was promoted into the role of Associate Director of Community Programs, and Youth Life Coaches Aaron Pitts, Troy Landrum Jr and Adan Garcia. Imani, Aaron and Troy have been with the program an average of a year and a half to two years pursing the work they are passionate about. Newest Youth Life Coach, Adan Garcia, joined the team in September and brings a wealth of experience supporting and guiding young people as a youth pastor and sports coach. Asked about joining the team, Adan shared, “Just to be able to impact the upcoming generation to be successful in their communities is what I’m excited about with the RAYS UP program.”
“The village man, it’s the village.” Aaron says when asked, “What brought him to this work?” He further states “There is a lack of positive male role models in our schools, there is a lack of a positive voice.” Aaron’s presence in Dimmit Middle school and Renton High school has been felt and appreciated by the school staff throughout the school year. As you step into Dimmit Middle School directly after “hello” is the question “Is Mr. Pitts here with you today?” A humbling reminder of the importance of influence and trust that can be gained in the matter of a school year. Aaron continues “With that gap, I am able to fill that void and I do that for the greater hope of our community. The village takes care of one another and a positive impact not only affects the individual but impacts the village.”
“The village takes care of one another and a positive impact not only affects the individual but impacts the village.” -Aaron Pitts, Youth Life Coach
Imani, whom through her long career in youth development has built her personal mission statement around Ayesha Siddiqui’s powerful quote “Be the person you needed when you were younger” strives to live this out through her direct work and vision not only for the RAYS UP program but the multiple programs that she oversees as an Associate Director. “I overcame a lot of obstacles and barriers and I had a lot of people step in and help but not people that looked like me.” Imani says. As a woman of color, Imani, is able to be that person for the students she diligently advocates for at Albert Talley High. Albert Talley High is an alternative school that breaths in second chance through the lungs of the diverse student population bustling up and down the steps of the naturally lit building. Imani believes this is ultimately “Social Justice” at work, believing that “in this realm of work social justice is not only acknowledging that we as people of color are treated differently but actually taking steps to correct that”. For Imani, those mean that every student she encounters is guided toward being the best version of themselves.
Albert Talley High is an alternative school that breaths in second chance through the lungs of the diverse student population bustling up and down the steps of the naturally lit building.
The programs strong social justice focus is not only being used to advocate for the youth but it is teaching youth to advocate for themselves and also showing them how to speak up for the voiceless among them. “It is our job to empower our youth to understand these social justice issues and speak up for people of color and others of different religions and cultures,” both Aaron and Imani affirmed. They both believe the only way to empower the youth is by meeting them where they are at, with both student and mentor understanding that this is all a learning process. The goal is to strengthen the student’s passion and vigor for life and be who they want to be not who society has assumed or projected they will be. This is community work, youth work and social justice work. This work of empowering students to achieve success in life by building self-awareness, confidence, motivation and encouraging them to be advocates by using their own voices will continue to be the work of the RAYS UP program.
Top three reasons you don’t want to miss our event Light the Way with RAYS:
You care about kids and families
You love good food, wine and music
You can’t resist a photo booth with boas(Feather boas!)
The theme this year is Light the Way with RAYS – Ignite Hope. During stressful times in our lives it can be difficult to remember what it feels like to have hope that things can get better. The staff at RAYS works with our families and individuals to re-light that spark of hope. We invite you join us in positively impacting over 1700 children, youth and family members a year. Limited tickets are available here.
Honoring June Leonard
This year we will be honoring RAYS founding director, June Leonard. Former Renton School Board Member and Washington State Representative June Leonard (d. April 21, 1994) was a fierce advocate for children and families, and was the first Executive Director of RAYS in the 1970’s and 1980’s. June was part of the founding group of Board members who incorporated RAYS as a non-profit agency in 1975. She was a tireless advocate for children and families and her work and vision are visible today in RAYS’ school-based counseling services, behavioral health services at medical clinics, supportive home visits with the parents of newborns, and our RAYS Up youth development and mentorship program. Members of June’s family will be present to share more about her unique contributions to RAYS and to receive our thanks for her service.
Our Emcee for the evening is the talented Toyia T. Taylor, Renton High School Grad, Educator, Advocate, and Founding Director of We.APP (We Act. Present. Perform.) Young Artists Academy (YAA). Toyia’s “sole life purpose is to collaborate with brilliant minds invested in the arts so that children invest in themselves and together, we build a legacy of promise”. Through YAA she inspires students to find their voice and speak their truth through story sharing and public speaking. We are delighted to have Toyia join us!
Hors d’oeuvres and Beverage
Guests will again enjoy delicious food and wine pairings from Melrose Grill and Vino at the Landing and we will provide plentiful hors d’oeuvres and beverages to sustain you throughout the evening.
Silent Auction: Watch our Facebook page for updates on our auction items. We have autographed items from the Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders, an Olympic Peninsula 2-night getaway, golf package, custom made jewelry, wine basket and much more.
Stories from Our Rays Youth Mentors
Our program will feature stories and highlights from our RAYS Up Youth Life Coaches. You will be inspired by the resilience of these young people and future leaders.
We will wrap up the night with an intimate concert with local songstress Stephanie Anne Johnson. Stephanie Anne Johnson is a multifaceted vocalist who enjoys singing the acoustic music she writes and the performing in some of the greatest musical theater ever written. In the past few years, she has performed with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Actor’s Theater of Louisville, The Village Theater in Hairspray and numerous venues in Seattle including the Tractor Tavern, the Royal Room and the Triple Door. She was a lounge singer for Holland America Cruise Line, a member of the Seattle area Dickens Carolers, and a Top 20 Finalist on Season 5 of NBC’s Emmy Award Winning The Voice. Her final song “Georgia on My Mind,” rose to the #4 spot on iTunes R&B and Soul charts. Here’s a little sample from her time on The Voice. We are so excited she can join us!
Working together we can light the way for vulnerable children, youth, and families in our community. Join us!