Youth Eastside Services hosts annual benefit breakfast; sign up by Monday

February 23, 2014

NEW — Noon Feb. 23, 2014

Youth Eastside Services, a lifeline for kids and families coping with challenges such as emotional distress, substance abuse and violence, will host its annual benefit breakfast March 12.

The Invest in Youth breakfast raises money for the agency’s Lifeline Fund, which supports underfunded prevention and education programs as well as uncompensated care, ensuring no child is turned away for a family’s inability to pay. The agency helps youths in Issaquah.

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Volunteers needed to mentor young parents

August 20, 2013

The Healthy Start Parent Mentor Program, a service of Youth Eastside Services, is looking for volunteers to guide young parents toward positive, healthy relationships with their children.

Volunteers act as mentors for the parents through friendship, support and by providing information that can help in making healthy choices for the young families. Mentors refer their Healthy Start participant to outside agencies for additional support and encourage steps toward family independence.

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Connecticut school shooting raises questions for Issaquah school administrators, parents

December 18, 2012

The massacre at a Newtown, Conn., school raised difficult questions for Issaquah School District administrators and parents in the days after a gunman killed 26 people — including 20 children — on the Sandy Hook Elementary School campus.

Officials sought to reassure parents about campus safety and offer advice about how parents can talk to children about the tragedy.

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Youth Eastside Services to host Elizabeth Smart

November 10, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. Nov. 10, 2011

Elizabeth Smart is due to deliver the keynote address at a benefit for Youth Eastside Services, a nonprofit organization serving children in Issaquah and other communities.

Elizabeth Smart

Smart — abducted at knifepoint from home in Utah in June 2002 — plans to share the story of overcoming imprisonment and succeeding despite adversity.

Youth Eastside Services selected Smart, 24, to headline the Invest in Youth Breakfast in March.

“We’re extremely honored to present Ms. Smart in her first major speech in the Northwest,” Patti Skelton-McGougan, Youth Eastside Services executive director, said in a statement. “The spirit with which she publicly acknowledges the private nightmare she suffered at 14 is admirable, and her message of not allowing one’s past to dictate the future is inspirational.”

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Marijuana debate could be sending mixed signals to teens

May 17, 2011

As the debate about medical marijuana progresses, it could be sending mixed messages to youths, shaping their thoughts about the still-illegal substance.

Attitudes among local students are changing about the use of marijuana. Contributed

“Across the board, our counselors are reporting a change in attitude toward marijuana,” Youth Eastside Services Executive Director Patti Skelton-McGougan said. “Teens are seeing pot as less dangerous because of its potential medicinal properties.”

YES counselors are working to educate youths about marijuana, including information showing it is addictive, is often a gateway drug, and can lead to lower school performance and illness.

Nationally, the number of middle and high school students experimenting with the drug is at its highest since the 1980s, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

In the Issaquah School District, data only goes back to 2004, when the district began administering the state’s Healthy Youth Survey.

In 2004, more students, on average, reported “that adults in their neighborhoods think youth marijuana use is ‘very wrong,’” compared to reports from 2010.

In 2004, 70 percent of sophomores and 58 percent of seniors said they thought their neighbors looked down on youths using marijuana.

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Issaquah benefactor Julia Pritt dies

April 27, 2010

The philanthropist who donated land for a planned downtown park and housing for the homeless has died.

Julia Pritt, 77, died April 3 at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. The philanthropist amassed a fortune when she and then-husband Frank Pritt launched a software company, Attachmate Corp. Julia Pritt led accounting and human resources for the company.

The retired software executive left a diverse legacy in downtown Issaquah. Her donations laid the foundation for a much-anticipated park and needed transitional housing units.

The city purchased the Beebe property — today known as Cybil-Madeline Park — in August 1995 with a $500,000 donation from Pritt. City officials have worked for more than a decade to assemble parcels near the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork. Officials refer to the area of planned trails and open space as the “crown jewel” of the municipal park system.

Pritt requested for the parcel to be renamed for her granddaughters, Cybil and Madeline.

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Cybil-Madeline Park, Compassion House donor dies

April 24, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 24, 2010

The philanthropist who donated land for a planned downtown park and housing for the homeless has died.

Julia Pritt, 77, died April 3 at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. The philanthropist amassed a fortune when she and then-husband Frank Pritt launched a software company, Attachmate Corp. Julia Pritt led accounting and human resources for the company.

The retired software executive left a diverse legacy in downtown Issaquah. Her donations laid the foundation for a much-anticipated park and needed transitional housing units.

Read more