Celebrating the more than 100 young people who graduated from DCHS youth programs this school year

Photo: Alejandra Castro Garibay

More than 100 young people celebrated earning their secondary credentials (GEDs or high school diplomas) last month with programs in the Children, Youth, and Young Adults Division (CYYAD). Many of these young people also earned college credits simultaneously.  

What the graduates are saying  

Students in CYYAD programs highlighted how they were able to accomplish their goals and navigate hurdles with support from CYYAD staff:  

“Being a student at YouthSource really provided me the family support that I needed to get over the finish line,” said Kimoura Blankenship Finn, a GED Graduate.  

 “My case manager and teacher really helped to keep me on track during my time at YouthSource. I’m glad that I’m able to continue my learning journey with their support. You really can do anything you put your mind to,” said Faith Worthing-Catlett, a GED Graduate now attending college.  

Left, Fowzia Said, who graduated from Truman High School in June. Right, Andrea Lopez, King County CYYAD staff.

“I don’t know where I would be without YouthSource. I’ve always dreamt big, but it wasn’t until I enrolled that I was actually able to see the dreams actually happening: Big shoutout to the YouthSource team for all of their support,” said Damon Cruz-Olsen, AA Graduate, Automotive Tech.  

“This program was a great way for me to connect with other aspiring artists and I feel as though we created a great group environment where I felt comfortable,” said Fowzia Said, who graduated from Truman High School in June and now she owns her own hair braiding business and rents a chair at a salon.   

CYYAD’s impact by the numbers  

Over the past year, CYYAD served over 800 young people through programs offered at Bellevue College, Federal Way Open Doors at Truman, New Start High School, Seattle Central College, Shoreline College and YouthSource Tukwila.

Around 70 percent of participants identified as youth of color, and 19 years was the average age. Over 200 youth completed programs, with 80 percent gaining increased employability through education credentials and new skills acquired in job readiness training or a paid internship.    

CYYAD helped students find internship placements at: Seattle Storm, AJAC Aerospace Manufacturing Academy, Welder Beast Fabrication, Diecut Stickers, King County International Airport, and Nortech Heating and Cooling as part of King County Green Jobs Initiative.   

CYYAD delivers re-engagement, education, employment, and social service supports directly to young people who are disconnected from school and work.