Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement


4C Coalition provides one-on-one mentoring to Rising scholars

In February, 4C Coalition will begin to provide one-on-one mentoring support to students, both boys and girls, enrolled in The Rising at Denny International and Meany middle schools. Students will be carefully matched with trained same-gender Black adults who provide support, counsel, friendship and a positive role model.

“The ongoing pandemic, coupled with schools moving between online and in-person classes, it’s a lot for a young scholar to deal with,” said Hazel Cameron, 4C Coalition executive director. “We think one-on-one mentoring will make a difference in these young lives. The kids will have a dedicated adult they can talk to, explore options and discuss their fears.”

Seattle CARES has been a long-time partner of the 4C Coalition, a leader in group and one-on-one mentoring programs in King County. Since its founding in 1999, the 4C Coalition has mentored more than 2,000 youth, using a proven, culturally relevant approach.

Learn more about the 4C Coalition.

Mentor Spotlight: Rose Green

You might say “three times the charm” for new mentor Rose Green.

Rose first became familiar with Seattle CARES when her grandson participated for two years in The Rising at Denny International Middle School. She liked what she saw and decided to become involved with a Community Wellness Circle, a group of single moms and caregivers facilitated by Seattle CARES. Now, she has taken that one step further to become a mentor herself, working with young Rising scholars at Denny International. Her interest and determination to get involved in three different ways is a real rarity!

Recently, we asked Rose to tell us more about mentoring and what it means to her.

Why did you decide to become a mentor?

I feel like I’m helping, not just waiting for things to get better. I wanted to be a part of the change. If I keep showing up, maybe I can make a difference.

What have you learned?

I’ve learned to treat each person with respect and consideration. Each person is different. It’s about them. We don’t tell the scholars what to do. We share our experiences and provide options.

What surprised you most about mentoring?

How much I can see my younger self in them. I think if I had one person I could have gone to, maybe my life would have turned out differently.

What do you like most about the Community Wellness Circles?

At first I wasn’t sure it was for me. Now I really look forward to the meetings and enjoy the ladies. I love how we are there for each other. It’s amazing how we need each other.

How would you describe the mentor experience.

A mentor is committed, doesn’t give up and is a great listener. In return, it’s a rewarding experience.

See if mentoring is for you. Learn more here.


Mentors help Rising scholars navigate O’Dea High School

This fall, former Rising scholar August entered ninth grade at O’Dea High School, a private all-boys college preparatory school in Seattle. Besides focusing on his studies, August plays on the basketball team and is looking forward to starting track and field in the spring.

August is one of four Rising scholars currently attending O’Dea and the only one who participated in The Rising at Denny International Middle School. Rasaan, Breylon and Julian were part of The Rising program at Meany and are also nine graders at O’Dea. Their success is the result of a community of caring and dedicated individuals.

Take August, for example. For two years, he worked hard in The Rising at Denny International Middle School, taking advantage of its tutorial program. His progress was supported by two Rising mentors, Jeff Forge and Gregory Banks. Their interest and August’s determination made all the difference. As Lucas Dobbs, vice principal at O’Dea, said recently: “August’s hard work, dedication to his community, diligent efforts with his studies and leadership skills made O’Dea possible for him as a next step in his journey.”

Slightly more than half of the student body at O’Dea is white; Black students comprise about 16%. Considering these demographics, it was challenging for August to establish friendships with some of the other students.

To help, Seattle CARES reached out to another O’Dea alum, an individual who went on to earn a doctoral degree, to mentor August during his freshman year. The two hit it off. They have pep talks frequently on Zoom and August is feeling more comfortable in the O’Dea environment.

In fact, his story was so inspirational he was selected to be part of a new video produced by National CARES Mentoring Movement. The film crew traveled to Seattle this past December and spent two days filming Rising scholars, mentors, educators, parents and staff from Seattle CARES. Read more here.

The four Rising scholars at O’Dea know their studies are preparing them not only for college but for the rest of their lives. They should be incredibly proud of their achievements, and we know their futures will be bright.





Seattle CARES plays key role in national video

Seattle CARES is one of three affiliate programs selected to be part of a new video produced by the National CARES Mentoring Movement in New York. The film crew traveled to Seattle in December, spending two days taping segments with mentors, students, parents, Seattle Public School educators and Seattle CARES staff.

Filming locations were at O’Dea High School, Denny International Middle School and Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

During the taping, two mentors, Christian Love (left) and Greg Banks, spoke about their involvement in the program and their passion for mentoring. Two former Rising students were also interviewed: August, now a ninth-grader at O’Dea High School, and Zack, who goes to Garfield High School (below, right).

Denny Principal Jeff Clark and Assistant Principal Mawiayah Fields shared their comments on-camera, as well. Both have been long-term supporters of The Rising program at their school.

Single mother Tigest Beyene, an enthusiastic participant in the Wellness Community Circles, shared her thoughts about the importance of the Circles and how they provide a safe, judgment-free space for single moms trying to become better parents.

The new video will premiere in late February at the National CARES gala event in New York, “For the Love of the Children.” After that, it can be viewed on the National CARES website. More details about the production will be posted as soon as they are available. The video also includes inspirational stories from CARES affiliates in Atlanta and Detroit.

Wellness Circles offer a safe place for women to speak out

Eight years ago, Tigest Beyene’s life hung in the balance — literally. After she broke up with her boyfriend of three years, he began to harass her. The situation got increasingly worse. In September 2013, he chased her down in his car, shot her in the stomach and then turned the gun on himself.

The former Highline High School graduate recovered physically and today she is the mother of two girls. Recently, a guidance counselor at her daughter’s school recommended she join a Community Wellness Circle, a program for parents, especially moms and female caregivers, sponsored by Seattle CARES and funded through King County’s Positive Family Connections.

“The teacher thought I would fit in,” she said, “and he sent me information on the program. I truly feel blessed to be part of such a strong group of women. My life has changed for the better. I am more aware of who I am and who I am becoming.”

Community Wellness Circles provide a safe healing space for parents. The program focuses on teaching the building blocks that make up a healthy quality life, emphasizing parenting, conflict-resolution and empowerment skills. Facilitators also provide connections for services for adults who may be experiencing food and housing insecurities, have health care issues, or need computers or other tech assistance.

Beyene appreciates how other women in the group listen to her, provide helpful comments and share their own experiences. ”The most valuable part of the Wellness Circle is the incredible women,” she said. “There is no judgment; it’s a safe zone. It reminds me that I am not alone.”

By participating, she has learned how to better manage stress and be a better parent to her daughters. She also has learned how to better manage her money. She is now saving to buy a home.

“The meetings help me be more self-aware, enjoy myself and laugh more with my kids,” she said. “My favorite part is when we get into our group sessions and we get to express about our day. This has really helped me be a better listener and have more patience, even at work.”