Congratulations to our 2023 Legacy Awardees – Paula Grassell, Marla Rennie, and the Sammamish Chapter of the National Charity League. Your countless hours of support and work are an essential part of the impact we have at Friends of Youth. We are lucky to have amazing people like you in the community and on our team! Awardees will be honored at our Annual Friends of Youth Foundation Event on Tuesday, April 4.
Legacy Board Awardee - Paula Grassell
Paula has been a supporter and board member of Friends of Youth for the past 15 years and is currently the chair of our Resource Development Committee. Her upbeat personality and commitment to Friends of Youth are integral to our success. We are so lucky to have her as part of our team!
Paula believes that youth are our future and saw first-hand how a little support can make a significant difference in the lives of youths that impacts their future. She believes we all have an opportunity to change the trajectory of the future. Every youth has their own unique story, which means they need personalized support. Friends of Youth offers many different program services and avenues to support youth.
Paula would also like to share that she is grateful for the love and support her parents have been able to provide her throughout the years. She wants everyone to have and feel the same love and support that was given to her, as “it is not always the big things that make a difference, it’s usually the little (and unknown) things.”
Legacy Employee Awardee – Marla Rennie
Marla is the Senior Executive Assistant at Friends of Youth. She joined Friends of Youth in August 2015, and has been a vital part of the team ever since.
Marla lives in Bothell with her husband, Kevin, and two children, Luke and Ella. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and exploring new adventures.
To quote Marla, “I am honored to serve the mission of Friends of Youth and work alongside incredible employees. The daily passion that is poured into our work to make our communities a better place for youth and young adults to succeed, brings me great joy.”
Supporter Legacy Awardee – Sammamish Chapter of the National Charity League
The Sammamish Chapter of the National Charity League (NCL) has been a Friends of Youth partner for many years. The NCL is an organization that is dedicated to serving communities and empowering young women through volunteerism, leadership, and cultural experiences.
Nina Seem reflects: “Volunteering for Friends of Youth with my daughter Nina for the first time was an experience that will always hold a special place in our hearts. Our first event was a gardening project, where we helped to beautify the grounds of a local youth center. I watched as Nina's eyes lit up with excitement and joy at the thought of making a positive impact in our community. As we left that day, covered in dirt and sweat, we both knew we had found something truly special in Friends of Youth. It wasn't just a volunteer event, it was an opportunity to connect with our community, to teach Nina the value of giving back, and to make a difference in the world together.”
Mari Colbourne reflects “Through our involvement in NCL with my daughters over the past six years, we have developed a connection with Friends of Youth by preparing and serving meals at the Renton Youth Services Center collecting needed items, planting flowers in the garden of the Kirkland campus and hosting a summer BBQ and block party.
My daughters Kate and Kelly and I have seen firsthand that protecting homeless teens means more than just providing food or shelter for the day. It also means creating a space where young people know they will be welcomed, comfortable and safe -- and, from there, providing ongoing resources to enable personal growth and success. Of all the philanthropies we have served as a family, our time spent serving Friends of Youth has been particularly special. It has been our privilege to get to know the amazing employees and residents. We are in awe of the inspiring work that occurs at Friends of Youth!”