Summer 2011
Vol 3, Issue 3
AL 11 David

Advancing Leadership logo 
 Envision eNews

Left:  AL '12 newbie Kenya Daniel celebrates with AL '11 grad David Stone and his beautiful family.
Change is always an opportunity for growth.  We're taking advantage of that at AL, because this is a summer full of change for us.  Our AL and ALY 2011 classes have graduated and are already hard at work planning program days for our incoming 2011-12 participants. We are also working on ideas for expanding involvement during the year following the initial Advancing Leadership programs.

We honored several outgoing board members at the AL '11 graduation showcase, and I hope you'll take time to thank them personally for pouring their lives into our programs.

Our alumni committee is also back in action, and their next big event is a MUST for all our great alums and friends.

Are there any changes happening in your leadership journey?  I'd love to hear from you, and the AL and ALY community would appreciate learning from your experiences. Keep in touch, and spread some sunshine this summer. 

Yours in service,

Teri Hickel

Executive Director 
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Alumni, Prepare to Party:  AL's Evening with The Stars is Coming!

Dining with your AL class, alumni entertainment, bidding on irresistible goodies, celebrity waiters ... can you think of a more heavenly experience?


AL eve with stars 


We thought not.  That's why you belong at Federal Way's First Annual Evening with The Stars, Friday, October 1st, 5 - 7 PM at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center.  This phenomenal event combines a reunion with your AL and ALY buddies, a family-friendly spaghetti dinner and a chance to support the work of Advancing Leadership programs.  We'll have a silent auction, fun entertainment and video, and local leaders serving each table.


Local businesses and organizations can choose from event, table and auction item sponsorships. Federal Way Evening with The Stars is a high profile community event sure to be attended by hundreds of local leaders and their families. Your sponsorship will be promoted to government, business, education, nonprofit and service organizations representing every corner of Federal Way - and beyond.


This is the first alumni-sponsored event that brings together AL and ALY.  Alumni are encouraged to sponsor tables for their class (remember, you can bring your family, so one table of eight is just the start). Will more AL or ALY alums attend?  Which class will have the best turnout? Some classes already have their first tables - thanks AL '99, '00, '04, '05, '06, '08, '10 and '11!


CLICK HERE for more information, to reserve seats, sponsor a table or the event, donate an auction item or volunteer to help.  You can also email Dinah Herring, AL '09, at [email protected] for sponsor info, Brook Lindquist, AL '11, at [email protected] for individual reservations or to volunteer, and Kathryn Dunn, AL '10 at [email protected]  to donate auction items.

Enabling Others to Act: AL 2011's Project Mentor Makes The Grade

When this year's Advancing Leadership class first pondered the idea of team project, little did they know it would end up more like team roller coaster ride!


AL '11 was tasked with building a project that would address at-risk youth and gang prevention.  That's a tall order; add to it a high level of creativity, multiple great ideas, and the requirement of unanimous agreement on a single project, and you have an intense teamwork experience.  The entire class rose to the challenge, coming together to bring 25 new mentors to Federal Way Communities in Schools.


CIS mentors are paired with a young person in the school district who can benefit from a caring, consistent adult in his or her life.  The mentor and mentee meet weekly at school, with the opportunity to attend several fun group events as well.  Many mentors stay with their mentee through graduation.  According to CIS, "93% of students reduced their at-risk behavior" and "97% ... remain in school."


At the end of their program year, AL '11 found that the team approach to leadership not only meant reaching their goal - it meant blowing it away!  Altogether, 41 new mentors responded to their efforts - the biggest new group CIS Federal Way has ever had!  Congratulations to Advancing Leadership 2011 - your cooperative leadership will change so many young lives!


Watch the mentor video AL '11 created for CIS:

CIS Mentor Program
CIS Mentor Program


Inspiring a Shared Vision: Board Director Positions Change Hands
AL Bob Wroblewski
Bob Wroblewski
AL Debra Hansen
Debra Hansen
The driving force behind the long-term success of Advancing Leadership is our dynamic and visionary board of directors.  Every year they invest time, talent and financial support that goes far beyond what is typically expected of unpaid nonprofit board members.

This month, we extend our gratitude to several exemplary directors who have completed their terms: Bob Wroblewski, Debra Hansen, Tom Pierson and Josh Garcia.   

Bob is a founding member of AL, and has served on our board for 11 years.  His inspiration is at the heart of our program.

Debra has served 8 years as a board member, and has been a guiding voice in and out of the boardroom.

Tom made our partnership with the Federal Way Chamber
AL Tom Pierson
Tom Pierson
AL Josh Garcia
Josh Garcia
possible, and we wish him the best as the new Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber CEO.

Josh has served 3 years, is gifted at 'challenging the process', and is an advocate of innovation.  

We are honored to have worked with these outstanding leaders, and hope that they will continue to partner with us in new ways.

In our fall issue of Envision e-newsletter, we'll introduce you to our 2011-12 Advancing Leadership Board Directors, including several new members.  Stay tuned!

Modeling The Way: AL and ALY 2011 Are Off To Do Good

They did it!  Congratulations go out to the AL and ALY 2011 graduates, for successful completion of nine months of intensive training and two incredibly successful team projects.


Advancing Leadership Youth 2011 graduated on April 19th at Federal Way's Grace Church.  They listened to praise and words of wisdom from Mayor Skip Priest, an AL founder and long-time volunteer, Board President and State Farm Agent Brady Nelson, AL '05, Comcast's Dinah Herring, AL '09, and board directors Dan Shea of Weyerhaeuser and Jon McIntosh, AL '99 of Grace Church.


The youth had plenty of words of wisdom to share themselves, and they focused much of it on the incoming ALY '12 class. Most of these new alumni are returning to plan and facilitate program days, and are also helping with other program committees.

aly 11 grads
ALY 2011 Grads with Amy Johnson & Teri HIckel

The graduates of ALY '11 are: Nimo Azeez, Rubi Barojas, Matt Bascom, Nikhil Bedi, Kasey Carrel, Dahae Cheong, Koby Craig, Ashley Duncan, Reesha Flavors, Leah Freeborn, Elicia Goodwin, Jacqueline Guzman, Hannah Herbert, Highway Jun, Eric Ko, Ming Lane, Eric Lee, Eugene Lee, DJ May, Sarah Martin, Abishek Murali, Torie Peterson, Ashley Pinson, Kayla Rhodes, Manpreet Riar, Tyler Rivera, A'yesia Rogers, Drei San Nicolas and Taylor Wintler.


The adult class, Advancing Leadership 2011, also gathered at Grace Church for their graduation on June 16th. They heard from our outgoing board members Bob Wroblewski, AL founder and retired Weyerhaeuser, and Tom Pierson, Chamber CEO, as well as AL Executive Director and Chamber Interim CEO Teri Hickel, keynote speaker South King Fire Chief Al Church, AL '99 and always impressive emcees Dan Shea and Jon McIntosh.


Many of the class members announced immediate plans to put their leadership training to work.  Vince Blauser, AL '11 and Sequoyah Middle School Principal, is planning a group outing with his school community - reminescent of his AL field trips - to inspire their volunteer spirit.  Elvira  Rybakov, AL '11 is helping to organize a Slavic literature and culture day to bring the entire community together.  Danny Peterson, AL '11, is kicking off his campaign for Federal Way School Board Director, Position 3.


al 11 grads
AL 2011 Grads

The AL '11 graduates are: Laura Belvin, Vince Blauser, Kevin Body, Mary Helbling, Ryan Herrera, Kristine Howard, Tricia Kesterson, Brook Lindquist, Marty Markey, Josh McConnell, Toni Myhre, David Norcross, Juli Ohira, Diane Percival, Danny Peterson, Margaret Peterson, Brandi Praytor-Marsters, Elvira Rybakov, David Stone, Kelley Tanner, Le Ann Taylor and Jennifer Youngblood.



Encouraging The Heart: AL Grad Celebrates Slavic Culture

al elvira rybakov
Elvira at graduation

Elvira Rybakov, AL '11, was encouraged to apply to Advancing Leadership while volunteering with the City of Federal Way.  When she asked what she would learn, she was told that it would help her get to know her community much better.  Elvira was less than impressed. "I thought, well, I've lived here for 18 years.  I think I know every corner."


She soon discovered there was a lot more to her city than she realized.  As she explained to the audience at the June graduation, " it went from black and white to color.  I really didn't know Federal Way at all!"


Now Elvira, current Vice President of the Association of Slavic Immigrants, USA (ASIUS), is hoping to teach many other Federal Way residents something new about their community.  She is helping organize Slavic Literature and Culture Day, a full day of entertainment, activities and food.  The event will be held on July 9th, 9 am - 8 pm at Saghalie Middle School. "This celebration is to help integrate the Slavic culture of local citizens into that of other Federal Way residents, and to build a bridge of trust and understanding between American and Slavic communities."


There are lots of ways to participate.  There will be soccer, volleyball and table tennis competitions throughout the day, as well as a festival-style area beginning at noon.  Guests can enjoy live traditional Slavic and contemporary music, a variety of stage performances, games for children of any age, contests and traditional food, and  kiosks.  Sponsor opportunities are also available.


For more information or to sponsor this exciting cultural event, contact Elvira at [email protected]. If you would like to register a team for the sports competitions, call (253) 334 2222. We hope to see lots of Advancing Leadership at Federal Way's own Slavic Literature and Culture Day!

Challenging The Process: ALY Alum Speaks Her Mind

aly 10 chrissy hart
Chrissy is attending Occidental College

When she began her Advancing Leadership journey, Chrissy Hart, ALY '10, was not fond of speaking to a group. She remembers how "in prior attempts at public speaking I would shake, stutter, and laugh hysterically from embarrassment. If we ever had to present in class I would always make sure to go last and absolutely dreaded it." 


After her ALY opening retreat, it became clear that to get the most out of the program, she was going to have to spend a lot of time presenting to others - her class, adult facilitators and guests, and lots and lots of public figures.  When school started, she attended a meeting of the Federal Way High School Speech and Debate team.  "I had quite a few friends in speech and had heard good things, but was not really expecting to stay with it. I knew through ALY that public speaking was . . . important and needed to be learned, so I stuck with it."


As the year wore on, Chrissy kept working on developing her skills and her confidence.  Her speech and debate coach, Lois Gorne, was a huge support as she overcame one hurdle after another, and became increasingly at ease with public speaking.  Simultaneously, Chrissy was making her voice heard during ALY sessions, and people were listening.  By the end of the year, she had won a few novice division awards for her team, and had became a vocal advocate for Advancing Leadership, even making presentations to classes at FWHS. As she explains, "Before ALY I was afraid of voicing my opinions and was intimidated by large groups of people, but with the help of many guest speakers and experiences in the program, I slowly got over that."


This past year, as a senior, Chrissy hit her stride.  She decided to challenge herself by trying some new events: Expository and Oratory. "In my first outing in Expository, I won 1st place at the tournament at Whitman College," she explains. "I competed and placed in several other tournaments throughout the year, leading up to the WIAA State Tournament where I placed 3rd in Expository." From a bad case of stage fright, to a state champion in speech and debate - Chrissy has set an inspiring example of challenging our own processes to discover our true potential.

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