Winter 2014
Vol 6, Issue 1          

Advancing Leadership logo 
 Envision eNews

Left:  ALY '14 hosted an afternoon of food, fun and inspiration for middle school students for their team project: One Day Your Way.
Go Seahawks!  This season's Super Bowl journey has been a profound reminder of how powerful a community can be when they band together around a common cause.

Is it a stretch to find connections between the 12th man and our own AL community?  I don't think so.  What is so inspirational is how people of all ages, interests and backgrounds recognized the value of supporting others, and understanding that their supporting role was crucial in achieving success.  That's servant leadership!

We have lots of opportunities for you to play an active role in AL this season.  Read on, and get involved.

In service,

Teri Hickel

Executive Director 
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Alums Encourage the Heart & Continue the Fight Against Trafficking

Team project is the climactic experience of the Advancing Leadership year; for several members of AL '13, it was the beginning of a whole new adventure.


Don Hall

The AL '13 class worked with Federal Way Coalition Against Trafficking (FWCAT) on its first ever fundraising 5K event.  Don Hall described the project choice: "this topic (human trafficking) touched our hearts. We saw sadness on the faces of the victims - damaged youth and relationships, goals and dreams vanishing." The event was a great success (see the video here), but it wasn't enough for Don and fellow AL classmates Jenny Vasquez, Margery Godfrey and Brian Ailinger.

Jenny Vasquez


"We wanted a class project that would have a lasting impact on the community and that would give us an opportunity to stay involved once our initial project ended," Jenny explains. "FWCAT has been a great partner, and has allowed us to meet those goals."


Margery Godfrey

The four AL alums have continued working with FWCAT year-round as planning committee members. Don Hall also presents the Washington Engage Deceptions program curriculum, which teaches students the dangers of trafficking and how to avoid being victims, to Federal Way secondary school students.  They credit AL not only with connecting them to each other - and FWCAT - but also for the leadership tools they are using as they serve others. Jenny summed it up: "In AL, I learned that anyone can be a leader. Our team project gave me the opportunity to practice guiding people to use their strengths and skills to contribute toward a common goal, and that is what we are doing on our FWCAT 5K planning team!

Brian Ailinger


FWCAT's Brenda Oliver, who first proposed their program to Advancing Leadership, is thrilled with the ongoing partnership.  "We are VERY fortunate to be working with these amazing AL alumni.  Their passion and enthusiasm are contagious!  They each bring so much wisdom, knowledge and experience to the table. They have all been such an encouragement to the FWCAT, in helping us grow and realize the dream of making an impact on the students and community members of Federal Way."


Many of the other AL '13 alums will be back to participate in the 2014 Break the Chains of Human Trafficking 5K - and we hope you'll join them!


Break the Chains 5K (to benefit FWCAT): Saturday, May 17th, check-in: 9:00 am at Celebration Park. Visit for more info.

Applications Open for 2014-15 Adult and Teen Programs
Hey AL Nation - we're looking for emerging leaders to participate in the next AL and ALY classes! Applications are available for Advancing Leadership (AL) and Advancing Leadership Youth (ALY) for the 2014-15 year.

Adults can apply online by visiting and following the link on our home page, or by clicking the icon here.  The application deadline is Friday, May 23rd.  If you know a man or woman who lives, works or volunteers in Federal Way and has the potential to make a difference in our community, encourage them to apply.  Partial scholarships are available through the Mike McIntosh Memorial Scholarship Fund for applicants with financial need.

High school students who will be in 10th or 11th grade in the next school year can also find application information on our website, or by checking with the office at their high school.  For students attending Federal Way Public Schools, applications should be returned to their school contact no later than March 28th.  For students attending a different school or homeschooling, applications can be mailed to Advancing Leadership, PO Box 3317, Federal Way, WA 98063 or dropped off at the Advancing Leadership office in the Woodstone Credit Union building, 1825 S. 316th St., Federal Way, WA  98003.

Need more info?  Read more on our website, or contact AL Executive Director Teri Hickel at [email protected].
ALY '14 Models the Way for Middle School Students
ALY '14 - hosts with the most!

On February 18th, Federal Way 7th and 8th graders hopped on buses at their home middle schools to spent a day off of school with ALY '14. The Advancing Leadership Youth class inspired over 75 students to use school to find their passions and achieve their dreams during their team project this year.  As hosts of One Day Your Way, the ALY class visited middle schools around the city, inviting students to join them for free pizza, games and some real talk about taking charge of their education.


The class got to know their young guests during lunch, then persuaded them to do some dancing before settling in to hear from several adult leaders. After a game and snack break, ALY 2.0 participants Jaden Zwick and Dylan Detray shared their distinctive high school journeys and the ALY '14 class introduced themselves and what they were passionate about.  Click here to see pictures from One Day Your Way.

The Leadership Challenge Travels To New Places with AL Alum
Brandi with her husband & dogs

Brandi Praytor-Marsters, AL '11, was working with Americorps and the Federal Way Boys and Girls Club when she had the opportunity to participate in Advancing Leadership. She had no idea that she was taking her first steps toward a career in leadership development.


After completing her AL year, Brandi moved to Coeur d'Alene, ID and began looking for work.  She was hired as the Program Advisor for Nursing and Health Sciences at Lewis-Clark State College. In addition to her primary job, Brandi is also the advisor for ASLCSC-CDA (Associated Students of Lewis-Clark State College - Coeur d'Alene) and the Ambassador Honors Society.  "I enjoy student development and more specifically, student leadership development," she told us.  "I've used my knowledge from AmeriCorps and Advancing Leadership to pour into students' growth as people and professionals." 


Brandi loves developing student leaders so much that she has returned to school to get a master's degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education, which will allow her to direct student development and leadership at the college level. She recognizes many ties between her AL experience and her work with college students, from program tools - she's used The Leadership Challenge and AL self-reflection exercises to gauge progress and set goals - to utilizing support systems.


"AL provided me with a network of folks I can contact, even being 4.5 hours away, if I need anything.  Professionally, AL has made me more marketable when applying for jobs.  Having been a part of AL shows that I care about my community and am willing to take on additional work for my own growth and development, and in return can take that knowledge back to the workplace."


Since she's quickly becoming an expert in student leadership at the college level, we asked Brandi if she had any advice for our ALY students entering college.  "College is not just about becoming more intellectual.  I would tell ALY to get involved on their campuses.  They already have a wealth of knowledge through the AL experience to share with classmates - they are already leaders and could leave a lasting mark on their campuses.  Enjoy the development - college is a huge developing process - take time to remember that and enjoy the process."

Use Fred Meyer Rewards to Support Advancing Leadership

Now when you shop at Fred Meyer stores, you can earn a little something for AL! Congratulations on enrolling in Fred Meyer's Community Rewards Program. Here's how it works:


Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Advancing Leadership at You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number (86011). If you don't have a Rewards Card, pick one up at any Fred Meyer store. Every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you help AL earn a donation!

AL & ALY Alumni in the News

Don't miss any of the latest updates on your fellow alums: join the AL/ALY Linkedin Group, an exclusive benefit for participants, alums, parents of ALY alums and current/former board members; you can also 'like' the Advancing Leadership Facebook page for great photos and news. Do YOU have news to share? Contact us!
Jeanette, Trent & baby Elliott


Meet the newest AL babies!  Jeanette Brizendine, AL '13 and hubbie Trent welcomed Elliott Thomas on Jan. 2nd; Keven Dunn, AL '09 and Kathryn Dunn, AL '10, welcomed Logan

Kathryn, Keven & baby Logan

Edward on Feb. 10th.  Future ALY Class of 2030?  We hope so!


We have lots of familiar faces moving into new professional roles: Brian Wilson, AL '00 is the City of Federal Way's new Chief of Staff; Andy Hwang, AL '00, is Federal Way's new Chief of Police; Sid White, AL '09, is now Director of Facilities Services for Highline Public Schools; Jason Prenovost, AL '09, is the Athletic Director at Tacoma Community College; Karlo Leonor, ALY '06, has a new position as an Analyst - Enterprise Change Adoption at State Farm Insurance.


Alumni are also stepping into new community leadership: Lydia Assefa-Dawson, AL '04 has been selected as the newest Federal Way City Councilmember; Kelley Tanner, AL '11 and Kris Milholland, AL '12, recently led Citizens for Federal Way Schools successful campaign to pass the FWPS EP&O Levy; Caroline Vander Ark, AL '13, has joined the board of Northwest Deeper Learning Foundation; Amye Bronson-Doherty, AL '06, A has joined the core leadership team for Reach Out Federal Way.

Advancing Leadership is proud of our corporate partners:
     FWPS logo horiz   Weyerhaueser logo                           St. Francis Hospital       Multi-Service Center               FW Rotary                             Umpqua Bank logo