Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition seeks youth reps

October 30, 2012

The Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition is seeking students ages 12-18 to be representatives.

Interested students must reside within the Issaquah School District. Applicants should email Barbara de Michele at

The email must include the applicant’s community activities and interests as well as an explanation detailing the student’s interest in getting involved with the group. Students will receive community service documentation for their participation.

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Youth advocates take top honors at Community Awards

June 5, 2012

Renee Zimmerman reacts to a standing ovation May 31 after receiving the Citizen of the Year award from Issaquah Chamber of Commerce board chairwoman Dianna Reely, during the 33rd annual Issaquah Community Awards at the Hilton Garden Inn. By Greg Farrar

As Issaquah celebrated its very best at the 33rd annual Chamber of Commerce Community Awards, two residents — celebrated for their lasting contributions to the community — were inducted into Issaquah’s Hall of Fame on May 31.

Barbara de Michele and Master Sgt. Richard “Top” DeMarco received top honors at the May 31 ceremony, which included recognition for Issaquah’s finest in 18 categories, including awards for standout volunteers, businesses leaders, organizations and youth.

Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger said the Hall of Fame awards were based on several criteria, including inspiration, leadership, civic mindedness, fundraising efforts for public good and length of service to the community.

None more so affected by the awardees are Issaquah’s youth.

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Forum opens community conversation about drug use and children

April 24, 2012

Ever wonder what makes someone an addict and how to prevent your child from becoming one? The Issaquah Drug Free Community Coalition has and it is hosting a community forum to discuss the answers.

“Drug Use and Our Kids,” will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. May 2 at Clark Elementary School where a presentation about the neurological and developmental aspects of drug use and abuse will be followed by a community discussion about the perceptions and realities of local youths’ alcohol and drug use.

“We want to really raise awareness. A lot of the time parents are unaware of the extent of youth drug use,” said Jerry Blackburn, a chemical dependency professional and faculty member in the Chemical Dependency Counseling program at Bellevue College, who will give the presentation.

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Issaquah High School senior wins President’s Volunteer Service Award

December 20, 2011

Allie Lustig

Issaquah High School senior Allie Lustig won the silver level President’s Volunteer Service Award for more than 200 hours of community service with the city of Issaquah during 2010.

The silver level award is given by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to young adults who complete 175 to 249 hours of community service to thank and honor Americans who have inspired others to engage in volunteer service.

Lustig said that it was important for her to volunteer to give back to the community.

“I think you should give back to the places that give to you,” she said. “I grew up here and now that I’m going to college, I feel good that I gave back to the community that gave so much to me.”

In addition to an official President’s Volunteer Service Award lapel pin and a personalized certificate of achievement, Lustig also received a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama.

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Grant awards support local projects

November 29, 2011

The Issaquah Community Network recently awarded eight grants totaling $7,000 and, according to the network, those grants are aimed at supporting local school activities and efforts to promote healthy youth and strong families.

Awards were made at the regular meeting of the Issaquah Community Network board Nov. 7.

“We were pleased to receive grant applications from a mix of previous grantees and new applicants,” said Judy Brewer, board chairwoman.

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Issaquah Community Network plans Youth Job Skills Fair

October 18, 2011

Using a $15,000 grant from the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Issaquah Community Network is planning its first Youth Job Skills Fair on Nov. 12.

The event is aimed mostly at first-time job seekers ages 16 to 24, said network Executive Director Barbara de Michele. Participants do not need to be enrolled in Issaquah public schools.

Several break-out sessions are planned, with topics ranging from how to conduct a job search to how to write a worthy résumé and how to keep your job once you’ve landed it.

Additionally, de Michele said, participants will be asked to make some choices from a list of career possibilities. They will then have the chance to meet with professionals working in fields that interest them.

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Issaquah Community Network seeks board applicants

September 20, 2011

The Issaquah Community Network is seeking applicants for its volunteer board of directors.

The state-sponsored organization is dedicated to supporting healthy youths, family and community.

Applicants should reside or work within Issaquah School District boundaries. Send a letter of interest to Executive Director Barbara de Michele, 580 Front St. S., Unit C-215, Issaquah, WA 98027, or by email to

In the letter, explain why you would be interested in becoming involved with the network and list other community activities and interests. A resume would be welcome. The deadline for letters of interest is Oct. 3. A knowledge or background in a human services provision, or working with young people, is desirable but not required.

Issaquah Community Network offers grants for young people

September 20, 2011

Local programs to reduce homelessness and substance abuse among young people, as well as address other issues, qualify for grants from the Issaquah Community Network.

The organization is seeking funding proposals for projects during the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Leaders decided to focus on the following areas for grants:

Reduce youth substance abuse by increasing opportunities for positive social involvement.

Reduce youth homelessness by increasing information and support for local agencies helping homeless youths and families.

Reduce depression and risk of suicide by increasing education, detection, support and referrals.

Reduce adverse childhood experiences through training, public awareness, and support for healthy youths and families.

The organization supports local efforts to foster healthy youths and community. The most appropriate grant requests range from $200 to $2,000 due to limited funding.

The grant-funded services must be delivered within Issaquah School District boundaries. Eligible applicants must represent a nonprofit or government-funded organization, and meet the guidelines specified in the application form. The deadline for applications is Oct. 18.

Find the application and learn more at Contact Barbara de Michele at 391-0592 or to request a hard copy.

Issaquah Community Network elects new leaders

June 7, 2011

The Issaquah Community Network voted in three leaders at its annual election meeting May 16.

Cougar Ridge resident Judy Brewer was re-elected for a second term as chairwoman of the network. Brewer is a past president of the Issaquah PTSA Council and a recipient of the Issaquah Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award. She has served as a member of the Issaquah Community Network board of directors for nearly 10 years.

Cougar Ridge resident Dianne Buggé was elected vice chairwoman. Buggé has actively participated in the Issaquah Middle School and Issaquah High School PTSAs.

Newcastle resident Jeff Michell was elected as secretary. Michell is a past chairman and treasurer of the network’s board of directors, and has served as a member of the board for 12 years.

Mock crash teaches real lessons

May 31, 2011

Nathan Lane, Issaquah police officer, as the first emergency responder on the scene, checks on a student reenactor in the position of a passenger thrown through the windshield of a car and killed during a mock DUI accident. By Erik Bugge

On May 12, a mock crash was held for 11th- and 12th-graders at Issaquah High School. Eastside Fire & Rescue, lead by Ryan Anderson, with medical personnel, law enforcement agencies and students performed a realistic portrayal of an alcohol-related car accident and the likely response of emergency crews. Parts of the mock crash were graphic in nature due to the realistic portrayal of the impact to the human body when involved in a car accident.

This two-part event was an educational activity showing the dangers of driving, or being a passenger in a vehicle, when poor choices are made. The goal is to educate students about making the best possible decisions to keep them safe and protect their future.

Students first witnessed the mock crash that had student actors Jeff Crocker, Audrey DeLuca, Becky Rex, Hadyn Coxen, Kim Bussing, Jamie Lutz, Anthony McChesney, Josh Batzel, Skyler Kersten, Seth Margolies, Kellyn Alberg and Rebecca Allen.

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