Emily has been an integral part of the team at Northwest Center Kids for ten years, but she’s been part of the Northwest Center family for much longer than that.
Emily, an aide at Northwest Center Kids at Chinook, attended the school as a child. In fact, a framed photo of Emily as a baby still hangs at one of our schools today.
“Right out of high school, Emily started her career at Northwest Center,” says her mom Marilyn. “It was a godsend because it fit her perfectly and felt like home since she attended there as a child."
When you give to The Big Blue Truck™, you’re not only keeping clothing and household goods out of landfills; you’re making employment possible for people of all abilities.
Dani works at Value Village to sort hangers and return clothes from dressing rooms. With the help of an employment coach from Northwest Center, Dani has found success at Value Village. In fact, when you ask her what she likes best about her job, her answer is “Everything!”
See Dani in action in this short video—and thank you for making it possible for great employees like Dani to find jobs they love!
Launched in September 2018, IMPACT™ (Inclusion Mentorship Program for increasing Access in Childcare Team) has already made a significant impact on the early learning community in King County. The program, which provides training and support to childcare centers so that they can welcome children with special needs up to age 5, has already added 12 local providers to its roster of partners. The IMPACTeam™ is currently working with more than 70 kids and 25 individual teaching staff and child care directors.
It takes a lot of skill to become an artisan of donuts, and that’s what Anna is beginning to master. As a “donut engineer” at Retro Donuts in Spokane, one of Anna’s many responsibilities is to make sure the sweet treats are filled with delicious creams and jams. It’s a work of art.
“I take a regular donut and grind it up a bit and then push the fillings inside,” Anna says. “It’s a lot of fun and so rewarding knowing that someone is going to really enjoy eating it.”
It was a golden day at the 2018 Golden Hearts Luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle, where attendees gave from their hearts and raised more than $130,000 to support Northwest Center’s school-to-employment Transition Services. Now, more students with disabilities will have the support they need to find the perfect job.
As 2018 is quickly comes to a close and we prepare to welcome 2019, I want to THANK YOU for supporting Northwest Center and for helping make our world a more inclusive one!
This past year, you’ve helped us launch our IMPACT™ (Inclusion Mentorship Program for increasing Access in Childcare Team) and EPIC (Expanding Play, Interaction and Communication) services for children on the Autism spectrum and paved the way for our Employment Services team to expand our employer ecosystem to over 1,000 organizations across the state. We’ve also deepened our partnerships with school districts and are successfully working our way “upstream” and reaching students sooner than their final year in school.
Spread holiday cheer by joining with The Big Blue Truck™ and Northwest Center Kids to purchase clothes, toys and other gifts for families in need. We’re making the holidays brighter for many of our families this year by providing more than 400 gifts. Please visit our registry to make a purchase.
We’re pleased to introduce a newly refreshed Northwest Center logo. This change was motivated by the desire to capture the unity of purpose across every division of Northwest Center. A consistent look across our organization, from education and employment services to our family of owned businesses, reflects our commitment to a common mission: creating a world where people with disabilities are included at school, at work, and in the community. Our new logo captures Northwest Center as the forward-thinking, energized, and groundbreaking organization it is. The classic “NW” icon is a brighter blue to convey our energy, while newly added ripples signify the impact we make on the world.
“I’m not a hero and I’m not brave, I just got a chance to do what I love, and I did my best,” says Lauren Potter, best known as cheerleader Becky Jackson on the hit TV show Glee.
Career success like Potter’s is what Northwest Center’s 2018 Golden Hearts Luncheon is all about. This year’s event will raise funds for Transition Services, so more students with disabilities can find rewarding employment. As keynote speaker, Potter will share how she achieved her career goals.
“I am incredibly honored to speak to the people at Northwest Center,” Potter says. “I think the work being done by Northwest Center supports people to their fullest ability. It lets everybody know that we should be together, not separate. It helps give people a head start in life and makes them stronger. Without places like Northwest Center, inclusion is impossible!”
In the surgical room at Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services (SCRAPS), everyone works quietly and efficiently. The vet is finishing up a minor surgical procedure on a rescued dog. Mercie, her assistant, monitors the animal’s heart rate and prepares for his transfer back to his crate. When the surgery is complete, Mercie joins another assistant to prep the next animal, carefully inserting a breathing tube and shaving patches of fur.
This is Mercie beginning to fulfill her lifelong dream—one that teachers, peers, and even her father once thought was out of reach.
In the back of Makers Mercantile in Kent sits a bakery; a bakery with a spotlessly cleaned kitchen.
“I have worked many places in the industry and no one has been as thorough as Crystal,” said Rumi, head chef at Rylie Cakes.
Crystal has worked at Rylie Cakes for a year.
Associate producer Zack Glass
A new and innovative radio program airing on Spokane’s KXLY FM/AM is broadcast from Northwest Center’s Employment Services offices in Spokane. Breaking Through is a 30-minute show produced by Don Gillespie, a community employment services manager with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. Gillespie uses the program to share stories that promote equal opportunities for children and adults with disabilities.
It was an epic day at the 7th Annual Northwest Center Golf Classic as more than 120 players competed in rounds of championship golf at The Golf Club at Newcastle. Golfers got out their putters on the greens and also their wallets to give green: they raised $85,000 to launch EPIC (Expanding Play, Interaction and Communication), a new Northwest Center Kids initiative that will provide early and ongoing support to families of children with autism.
Event host Bill Krueger, former Seattle Mariners ace and Northwest Center’s strategic relationship officer, competed with some of his professional athletic pals including former Seahawks defensive end Alonzo Mitz, former Mariners pitcher Erik Hanson, Charlie Furbush, former Mariner and current MLB player, and former Mariners centerfielder Brian Hunter.
In three days of competing in the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, local soccer squad Team Spirit scored 17 goals and managed to make it into the semifinals, netting a bronze medal.
Head coach Mike Quinn, Northwest Center’s VP of business development, gave all the credit to his players, who managed to defeat Hawaii and South Carolina in the early rounds. In the semis, Team Spirit tied the Washington Thunder 1-to-1 in the elimination round to secure the bronze. Washington Thunder went on to win gold and Maine took the silver.
CEO Gene Boes with Samira Salkic, AVP Community Manager at 2017 Holiday Drive partner Umpqua Bank, with Mike from The Big Blue Truck™
Want to make a big difference for people in need this year during the holidays? Join Northwest Center’s 2018 holiday drive. Once again, we’ll fulfill the wish lists of families in need by collecting toys and clothes that The Big Blue Truck™, Northwest Center Kids, and our executive team will distribute for the holidays.
A clothing drive with Northwest Center's Big Blue Truck™ is a fun way for parents, teachers, and kids to clean out closets, recycle used clothing, get a tax deduction, and of course, benefit Northwest Center's services for people of all abilities.
Get started today!
Saturday, August 11, 2018
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Cromwell Park: 18030 Meridian Ave N Shoreline, WA 98133
Join us for a day of inclusive family fun!
- Free lunch
- Free painting
- Live music
- Games led by Special Olympics of Washington
- A special visit by a service llama
Laura Kneedler: email@example.com
Northwest Center is pleased to welcome Michael Padilla as an intern writer and photographer. Michael has ataxic cerebral palsy, which is a muscle disability. He’s currently a sophomore at Bellevue College and upon graduation, he wants to become a sports reporter.
By Michael Padilla
The Washington Spirit, coached by Northwest Center’s own VP of business development Mike Quinn, battled South Carolina in an early round soccer match at the Special Olympics USA Games at Seattle University. The Washington Spirit controlled the pace of the game from start to finish and won by a final score of 7 to 1.
Kam grabs a slice of “watermelon” from the play food on his family’s coffee table. He pretends to eat it, then offers some to Ricky, his dad.
It’s more than a happy family moment, says Susannah Major, a Speech Language Pathologist with Northwest Center Kids. “This is huge,” she enthuses. “Pretend play is such a prerequisite for language.”
Get out your drivers, wedges, and putters: it’s time to secure a hole-in-one at the 7th Annual Northwest Center Golf Classic, July 16 at The Golf Club at Newcastle.
This year’s event will raise funds to launch EPIC (Expanding Play, Interaction and Communication), a new Northwest Center Kids program that will support children with autism or social communication delays to be engaged with their parents, peers and the community.
Derby Honoree Brian Evison of DAE Capital, second from left, with Patricia Mary, Sarah, and Matt Evison
What an impact The Derby had on IMPACT™, a new initiative from Northwest Center Kids. The silent and live auction held in April at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, with a goal of raising $100,000 to launch the new service, instead raised more than three times that amount with donations totaling $306,000.
Witness sports history at the 50th Annual 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle: sign up to volunteer with Northwest Center July 1-6.
Join us as a volunteer during the soccer competitions, where you can also cheer on a team with a special connection to Northwest Center. The Issaquah Spirit, coached by our VP of Business Development Mike Quinn, is representing the state in soccer as Team Washington.
Donate clothing and household goods to The Big Blue Truck™ or at Value Village™ to keep them out of landfills and to benefit Northwest Center. Here are a few tips to make sure your donation counts.
“Any program or event that we planned was done so with zero rejection. No one would be turned away for any reason.” – Janet Taggart, Northwest Center founder
Northwest Center was founded on a mission of inclusion in 1965, and each year we celebrate that mission with business partners, friends, employees and the greater community at the Golden Hearts Luncheon. Join the celebration on October 23 at the Sheraton Hotel, downtown Seattle, from noon-1 p.m.
This year’s keynote speaker is actress and advocate Lauren Potter, best known as Becky Jackson on the hit TV show Glee. Potter was the Ambassador for the Special Olympics World Games, served on President Obama’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, and is on the International Board of Best Buddies, working in conjunction with Special Olympics on the “R Word: Spread the Word to End the Word” anti-bullying campaign.
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