Safe Spaces for our Youth and Staff
Each of our Clubs across the county has its own unique flavor. Members and Club professionals work together to co-create unique programming, based on each community's wants and needs.
Teens at our Bainbridge Island Club designed a queer-friendly space — the Rainbow Club! The Rainbow Club grew from a conversation that a member had with Teen Director Michael Schrader. What started as a one-off conversation about what was on the teen’s mind that day, bloomed into so much more.
“It is a safe place to be who they are [within] a positive community,” says Michael, on the importance of having a safe and affirming space.
While members are empowered to choose Club activities, our Youth Development Professionals provide youth mentorship and support. It is Michael’s job to remove any barriers and provide a helping hand or listening ear.
The Bainbridge Island Rainbow Club is an excellent example of how a supported team leads to a positive Club environment. According to Michael, the greatest win of the Rainbow Club is the level of comfort members feel with one another.
Employee Affinity Groups
As an inclusive, youth-centric organization, the mental health and emotional safety of our employees is paramount for them to be able to support and empower our young members.
Through organization-wide affinity groups led by Kevin Baker at the Baker Consulting group, Club employees are able to create and partake in safe spaces to connect and build community with one another. To further facilitate those who have shared experiences to connect, there are special affinity group sessions for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, as well as anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+.
When those on our team feel supported, they are able to show up authentically for the youth they support – and provide top-notch care.
Thank you to our Club professionals across the organization who create safe and relevant spaces for the youth we serve.