After graduating from college and working briefly in Portland, Oregon, I returned to Seattle in the fall of 2008. From the gyms to the barber shops, people still had heated debates over the city’s best athlete for the year. While I participated in those conversations, I was puzzled by the fact that more people were not discussing the frequent closures of Seattle Public Schools and the lack of funding for basic academic programs. Growing up in Seattle, I watched as my peers possessed amazing athletic talent but fell short of climbing to the next level. Not because of their natural ability on the court or field, but as a result of an absence of academic structure and social support. I feared the same cycle was going to happen to the next generation of young student-athletes and I wanted to make some changes.
I am not a stranger to public service. My father received the prestigious Jefferson award noting his remarkable history of community service supporting student-athletes in the Seattle area. My mother, a youth leader in our family’s church, has worked in early childhood development for over 25 years. Both parents instilled in me the importance of investing in our youth.
I began to craft a program model that would provide young people a strong academic foundation while also developing personal athletic skills. In late 2009, the A PLUS Youth Program became a reality. This is a platform for students looking for an extraordinary opportunity to not only be great athletes, but great leaders.
As we begin our fourth year of programming, we are expanding with the addition of new quality staff, partnerships with Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club to house our basketball component, and Zion Preparatory Academy that provides classroom space for the academic element. With our member base now spanning from grades 4-11, we strive to offer the finest, fully integrated, academic, athletic, youth development program in the Pacific Northwest.
We are changing the game!
Founder & Executive Director
A PLUS Youth Program