Service Learning Seattle

Since 2006, I have contracted with Seattle Public Schools Service Learning program. My activities have included project planning, program design and delivery, evaluation, training, technical assistance, speaking, and professional development services. I’ve provided large and small group facilitation; communication and public relations; project management; and other consulting services, too.


Partner Schools

Some of the schools I’ve partnered with in Seattle have included:

  • Cleveland High
  • Garfield High
  • Roosevelt High
  • Franklin High
  • Nova High
  • Ballard High
  • West Seattle High
  • Rainier Beach High
  • Aki Kurose Middle
  • Mercer Middle
  • Denny Middle


Following are descriptions of some related activities.


Related Articles


Elsewhere Online

Characteristics of Successful Youth Engagement

Ideally, youth engagement happens throughout communities and across society. Youth programs and youth councils are good; but engaging youth at home and throughout regular community places is great. However, the space is not as important as the characteristics of the community.

Working with more than 40 youth engagement practitioners throughout King County for our Youth Engagement Practitioners Cadre over the last two years, I have collected a lot of best practices and tips. Here are some some of the characteristics of successful youth engagement they identified. 
Characteristics of Successful Youth Engagement

Programs are Focused. 

Instead of meandering through purposeless activities and focus-less personal activities, every activity is designed to be a concise, deliberative engagement of multiple intelligences, broad perspectives, and varying experiences. Engaging young people remains the central action throughout the program, and improving the community is the focus of every activity.

Environments are Supportive.

Youth and adults alike are committed to working together without fear of retribution or alienation. All youth are partners with each other and adults in the program, and work together for the common cause of improving communities through youth engagement.
Activities are Engaging.
The experiences, knowledge, ideas, and opinions of youth are validated and substantiated with meaningful learning experiences that infuse community interest with a new capacity to visualize, analyze, create, and engage youth as partners.

Thinking is Critical.

As co-learners within a community of learners, youth provide vital insight in the community improvement process for their peers and adult allies. These democratic interactions are actively encouraged and supported by all members.
Processes are Transparent.
There should be no mysteries about what the purpose of the youth engagement program is, or what the outcomes of the activities will be. The program offers numerous ways to make goals, outcomes, and activities fully understandable to youth.
Decisions are Decentralized.
Youth engagement activities emphasize the common experience of all participants—youth and adults—as co-learners, empowering youth to engage fully throughout the learning process. Decisions affecting every member are made by members of the program—youth and adults—and everyone is held equally accountable and celebrated equally.

The Cadre members taught me that these characteristics combine to create powerful climates for youth engagement. Learn more about the King County Youth Engagement Practitioners Cadre here, and contact me for more information.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Youth Engagement Practictioners Cadre 3 (2012-13)

The Youth Engagement Practitioners Cadre (YEPC) was a dynamic professional development program promoting organizational and community transformation. YEPC members were adults with three or more years of youth engagement experience who together form a learning community that met once monthly during the 2012-13 school year. Members developed community collaborations, shared expert knowledge and experiences, and deepened youth engagement practices in their settings and throughout King County, including Seattle and its suburbs.

Throughout the year, Cadre members engaged in projects to deepen, apply and share their knowledge, including individual presentations, job-shadowing, research papers, and public presentations. At the end of the year, Cadre members were recognized for their commitment to their professional development at a countywide youth engagement event. Cadre findings were compiled in a best practices manual for distribution.

The Cadre was managed and facilitated by Adam Fletcher, an internationally-recognized youth engagement expert; along with Teddy Wright, a seasoned youth engagement practitioner and expert facilitator; and Kyla Lackie, a community organizer and program manager for SOAR.

Sponsors included Seattle Public Schools’ Youth Engagement Zone, the Corporation for National and Community Service, SOAR, and CommonAction Consulting.


2013 Cadre Members & Organizations

  • Amy Bender, Northwest Center
  • Shawna Boggie, YouthForce at Boys & Girls Clubs of King County
  • Connie Chan, Vietnamese Friendship Association
  • Lauren Cooley, Treehouse
  • Devon de Leña, ArtsCorps
  • Karly Feria, Community Schools Collaboration
  • Chev Gary, YMCA
  • Sean Goode, YMCA
  • Cindy Irwin, Compass Housing Alliance
  • Lizzie Jackson, Nature Consortium
  • Cori Jaeger, Camp Ten Trees
  • Hana Kawai, All Girl Everything Ultimate Program
  • Kayla Mahnke, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Ruel Olanday, Vietnamese Friendship Association
  • Katie Panhorst, College Access Now
  • Sarah Ratermann Beahan Summer Search
  • Amy Salins, New Horizons Ministries
  • Grace Scarella, Nature Consortium
  • Becca Shim, NELA
  • Sarah Waugh, Catholic Community Services Youth Tutoring Program

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Youth Engagement Practitioners Cadre 1 (2011-2012)

One of the mantras at CommonAction is “We Can Do What Me Can’t.” Our longstanding commitment to learning communities and the power of collaboration is driven by our teams’ experiences working in education and community settings across the US and around the world. We have consistently seen the outcomes of this mantra, and work to take it to scale with all our clients and collaborators.

More than a year ago, planning began for the first-ever King County Youth Engagement Practitioners Cadre. We worked with a coalition for children and youth in King County called SOAR and Seattle Public Schools’ Service Learning Seattle program. In four months planning, we devised a four-part series of events focused on developing professional learning and collaboration among King County’s diverse youth engagement agencies. The outcomes were awesome.

The Cadre began in fall 2011 with 22 participants, carefully selected from more than 40 qualified applicants. Answering questions about their own engagement as youth as well as their perceptions of youth today, almost every application laid bare the need for youth engagement. One year later we’d completed more than 40 hours of professional development together. Kyla Lackie and I facilitated all the events. We focused on providing participants opportunities to increase their personal commitment to youth engagement, as well as to increase their professional capacity to engage young people.

The year was a fascinating journey, full of twists and bends, opportunities and growth. Cadre members noted change in many areas, and for me as a facilitator it was enlivening and rich.

2011 Cadre Members & Organizations

  • Patrick Alina, City of Bellevue Parks & Community Services
  • Danielle Bock-Grande, Center for Human Services
  • Lois Brewer, Service Learning Seattle
  • Lauren Daumueller, Atlantic Street Center
  • Kalayaan Domingo, MMEM-YMCA
  • Briana Herman-Brand, The Capacity Project
  • Amanda Howard, Community Schools Collaboration
  • Roslyn Kagy, New Futures
  • Joshua Kemper, Pacific Science Center
  • Shawn LeValley, Seattle Public Schools
  • Devon Little, Camp Korey
  • Airen Lydick, Camp Ten Trees
  • Glenn McCray, Urban Impact
  • Paco Mesch, South Seattle Community College
  • Kibibi Monie’, Nu Black Arts West Theatre
  • Sukanya Pani, Year Up
  • Kate Reynolds, Street Youth Ministries
  • Sam Smith, Youth in Focus
  • Gwen Wessels, Seattle Parks & Recreation
  • Rebecca White
  • Alan Wong, Independent Contractor
  • Teddy Wright, Planned Parenthood of The Great Northwest
  • Laura Wright, The Urban Family Center


This fall we’re launching Year Two of the Cadre. There will be some tweaks to the agendas and turns in the philosophy, but generally the concept remains the same: We Can Do What Me Can’t. Look for more soon!


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