North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Youth Dynamics host auction

 

March 21, 2018 | View PDF



The local Youth Dynamics raised funds for their programs for local kids at their annual dinner and auction on March 17.

The auction supports a number of different initiatives from Youth Dynamics, a regional faith-based organization that provides support for local children.

"It helps fund all of our drop-in centers," said Jessica Ronhaar, area director for the Stilly Valley Youth Dynamics (formerly Arlington Youth Dynamics).

They currently have two centers, one in Arlington and one in Stanwood.

Hana Hushagen, former student with Youth Dynamics and currently a volunteer with the organization, spent a lot of her childhood at the Stanwood center.

She spoke before the auction about how that time at the center helped get her through drug addiction issues and problems at home.

"There is one place in town we could go to be safe, be loved and just be a kid," said Hushagen.

"It was nice to have a safe place to go that was consistent and adults were showing concern," she said.

By 15 she said she had used heroin, but now as a young adult has reached sobriety for more than a year.

She said her faith and the leaders at the center helped her get through her problems and eventually she began volunteering, first as a student leader.

"Without my mentors in the Spot [the Stanwood Youth Dynamics location] I don't think I would ever reach that place of change," she said.

Funds raised at the auction help programs for kids.

"It helps fund trips when we send kids on adventure trips," said Ronhaar, who said those trips included kayaking, rafting and climbing.

Youth Dynamics staff and volunteers also support school and community programs.

"It also helps keep us so we can stay in the area working with the schools and the churches and the community helping kids," said Ronhaar.

"We spend a lot of time in Weston [High School] volunteering in the leadership class there and we also spend time at Post [Middle School] and help in one of their English classes," she said.

Chelsea Hussey, a teacher at Post Middle School, said that one of the biggest things Youth Dynamics does is create positive adult role models for kids.

Hussey grew up in Arlington and also took part in Youth Dynamics programs.

"I've gone on winter retreat since I was in high school and it's great to see YD give these kids chances to go places they've never been before," she said.

"You'd be surprised how many kids actually point to the Space Needle and say it's the first time they've ever seen it," she said.

At the beginning of this year the local Youth Dynamics program absorbed a Stanwood youth program to become the "Stilly Valley Youth Dynamics."

Ronhaar hopes to bring in kids from all over the Stillaguamish Valley now.

"We're talking to some people in Lakewood and Oso and hope to move throughout the whole Stilly Valley," she said.

For more information on the Youth Dynamics program go to yd.org.

 

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