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YEAR TWO SUMMARY | September 2013

Year Two: Expanding Our Reach This September we’re celebrating the second anniversary of our Casino Road Youth Development Center’s (CRYDC) opening. The Y has worked with community partners to create a network of programs and activities serving more than 400 different individuals since we opened in September 2011. Here are the highlights: Minority Achievers Program (MAP): Through daily academic support, visits to college campuses, service projects, guest speakers and more, nearly 100 different 6–12 grade youth learned the importance of working hard in school, graduating high school, and attending post-secondary education.

English Language Learner (ELL) Classes: After opening the Center, we quickly realized many of our kids’ parents don’t speak functional English. After a successful pilot ELL class in July, we formed a partnership with Seattle Goodwill, which provides expert instruction to ELL students. Through morning Goodwill classes and evening conversational English classes, we served 81 students in free ELL classes.

Serving Others Through Collaboration: In November, the Center’s Director Alex Costumbrado and Tyrone McMorris of Casino Road Kids Ministries (CRKM) recieved the Agency Collaboration Award from the the Human Services Council of Snohomish County. Alex and Tyrone regularly work together to improve services provided to kids and families on Casino Road.

My Y Story: Zahraa Al-Mayyahi The Mukilteo YMCA provided Zahraa Al-Mayyahi with an opportunity she couldn’t imagine. Born in Iraq, Zahraa and her family fled to Jordan to escape the turmoil of the Iraq War. Her family moved to United States in 2011 in search of a better life. Zahraa says she’s glad to have been a part of the YMCA’s Minority Achievers Program. She remembers her friend introduced her to the Minority Achievers Program, as a junior at Mariner High. “I remember meeting Sarah (Minority Achievers Program Leader at Mariner) and seeing her nametag for the first time. I saw the YMCA logo and I was, like, wow, I know that YMCA logo!” “Life in United States was new and overwhelming,” Zahraa says. “I was trying to get adjusted to my new life. MAP helped me grow. It’s helped me advocate to my other Middle Eastern friends to be a part of something cool. It’s helped me with my English. I Life in the United States was wouldn’t have this opportunity anywhere new and overwhelming. MAP else.”

helped me grow [...] I would never have this opportunity anywhere else.”

-Zahraa, MAP Student

Zahraa now works in the Adventure Zone at the YMCA and she recieved a scholarship through the MAP program to attend college. “This is something I never knew would be possible.”

Inside: • Year Two: Expanding Our Reach • Lessons Learned and Opportunities for Growth • CRYDC: The Numbers • You’re invited to our Celebration

CRYDC: By The Numbers 224 Youth served by the center so far in 2013 29 Average number of youth participating in the CRYDC each day 97 Number of Minority Achievers Program (MAP) participants served through the CRYDC who attended afterschool activities, visited colleges, and heard from guest speakers who’ve overcome challenges to achieve success. 81 New immigrants who’ve attended our English Language Learners (ELL) Classes since July 2012. 90.9% of CRYDC MAP participants agree that “Participation in MAP has helped me be on track for higher education.” 90.9% of CRYDC MAP participants agree that “Participation in the YMCA activities has made me want to try harder in school.” 95.5% of CRYDC MAP participants agree that “YMCA staff really care about me.”

Looking Toward the Future General Educational Development (GED) Classes: Because many employers require a GED or High School diploma, many adults have requested that we offer GED classes. We’re currently in talks with two agencies to offer these classes beginning this fall.

Striving Toward Academic Improvement: During the past year we implemented Minority Achievers Program (MAP) Scholars within our MAP programs, an intentional, academic focused club in which participants give our staff access to academic records, receive regular academic coaching, and take advantage of incentives, like fun field trips, designed to improve school performance. Data from the 2012-2013 school year indicates that our MAP kids did not make significant GPA improvement from fall to spring. However, nearly one out of every three MAP students at the Center felt the program has helped them achieve goals they did not previously think possible. This shift in attitude and confidence is a great stride, but in understanding the challenges that our kids face, we must continue to work to move the needle on GPA and test score performance.

College Workshops: During the next school year, we will provide six different workshops to Spanish-speaking parents on Casino Road, with the goal of educating and empowering parents to understand the college process.

My Y Story: Jose and Alicia Escobar Jose will be a sophomore at Mariner High School this Fall. As a MAP participant Jose has gone on college tours to Western University, the University of Washington, and the Seattle Art Institute. His involvement with the Minority Achievers Program (MAP) led to an award for his leadership from the Lynnwood Rotary Club for his volunteer service. “Jose is a focused, and mature natural born leader,” Center Director Alex Costumbrado says. “He is a great role model for the other kids and it’s been fun wathcing him grow up through the MAP program.” While Jose has grown and thrived at the Center, so has his mother, Alicia. She is quickly learning and improving her English through the Center’s English Language Lerner classess. She says her English and Jose is a focused and confidence have greatly improved from the classes.

mature natural born leader. He’s a great role model for the other kids.” -Alex, Director

“I would usually need an interpreter for my daughter’s teacher, but now I can communicate without one,” Alicia said. Thanks to these YMCA programs, the future is brighter for both of them!

A Special Thank You Our work on Casino Road is possible only through the generous support of more than 500 donors to our YMCA’s Annual Campaign, 11 volunteers who’ve provided over 275 hours to our Center programs, and our generous partners: Casino Road Kids Ministries, South Everett Foursquare Church, Little Red School House, Washington State University Snohomish County Extension 4-H, Familias Unidas, Casino Road Stakeholders, and the Mukilteo School District. Please accept our heartfelt gratitude for helping us serve the kids who need us the most!

If you’d like to support our work on Casino Road, please contact Associate Executive Cory Armstrong-Hoss at 425 493 2414 or

UNITED WAY: A Change Agent For Casino Road United Way is a critical partner in changing lives on Casino Road. United Way recently completed their grants process for the 2013-2016 cycle, and announced these grants to the YMCA, which will broaden our impact on Casino Road.

NEW! English Language Learners Expansion: $30,000 a year for three years to expand ELL classes from two at Casino Road to five county-wide, including new sites in Everett, Mill Creek, and Marysville.

NEW! Casino Road Scholars: $58,500 a year for three years to pioneer a new program, based out of Horizon Elementary, in which Y staff provide intensive academic and basic-needs support for 30 struggling 4th and 5th graders.

Minority Achievers Program: $40,657 to support MAP at 14

MAP helps me with my future and helps connect me with my community more”

sites county-wide, including the Center, Voyager Middle School, and Mariner High School.

My Y Story: Angel Torres Angel will be a freshman at Kamiak High School this fall. Since the Center first opened two years ago, Angel has been coming nearly every day after school. He’s been involved in the Code Teen, MAP, and Level 9 programs at the Center and has seen a lot of change in himself since he first walked through those doors. “I love the Center. I call this my second home­—literally,” Angel says. “Before the Center The Center is the place I opened, I was doing poorly in school. I couldn’t focus at home. My sister and go to get help with school, her daughter moved back in with us, and there were eight and to get away from the people in our apartment. The Center is the place I go to craziness at home.” get help with school, and to get away from the craziness -Angel, MAP Student at home in our apartment.”

Mission Statement: The YMCA of Snohomish County is composed of people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and religious affiliations united in sharing the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility through programs that build strong kids, strong families and strong communities. Financial Assistance: The YMCA of Snohomish County makes every effort to ensure that no person, especially youth, will be denied access to programs and membership because of financial hardship. The YMCA’s Finan­cial Assistance Program is supported by contributions to our annual Invest in Youth campaign and United Way. Everett Family Branch 2720 Rockefeller Ave. Everett, WA 98201 | 425 258 9211

Marysville Family Branch 6420 60th Drive NE Marysville, WA 98270 | 360 653 9622

Mill Creek Family Branch 13723 Puget Park Drive Everett, WA 98208 | 425 337 0123

Monroe Family Branch 14033 Fryelands Blvd. Monroe, WA 98272 | 360 805 1879

Mukilteo Family Branch

Call for Support The CRYDC is looking for volunteers to tutor youth, provide child care during ELL classes, and give donations of board games, books, and arts & crafts supplies. To donate your time or items, contact Center Director Alex Costumbrado at or 425 512 8050.

10601 47th Place West Mukilteo, WA 98275 | 425 493 9622

Stanwood-Camano Family YMCA Organizing Committee 8823 Viking Way Stanwood, WA 98292 | 360 629 9622

Big Brothers Big Sisters 2722 Colby Ave, Suite 200 Everett, WA 98201 | 425 252 2227

The Casino Road Youth Development Center newsletter is published by the YMCA of Snohomish County to update community members about the program’s news and events. If you wish to be removed from the mailing list, please call or email Cory Armstrong-Hoss at 425 493 2414 or For more information on YMCA programs and services, visit

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YMCA OF SNOHOMISH COUNTY Mukilteo Family YMCA Branch 10601 47th Place West Mukilteo WA 98275


THE CASINO ROAD YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTER IS CELEBRATING, AND YOU’RE INVITED! Your generosity and support help us serve kids and families on Casino. Please join us to hear stories of impact, celebrate successes, and hear about the future. When: Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 5:30-7 pm Light appetizers will be served Program begins at 6 pm Where: Children’s Village, 14 E. Casino Road, Everett RSVP: By September 15 to Merrie Babazadeh at or 425 493 2424


Casino Road Youth Development Center Newsletter: Year Two  

Check out what's been happening at the Casino Road Youth Development Center, run by the Mukilteo YMCA in Snohomish County, Washington.