Meet Naviah, North Seattle Club’s 2018 Youth of the Year

Ballard High honors student and varsity softball player Naviah has made impressive strides after years of family struggles.

Naviah grew up in Federal Way, the eldest of four. When she was 8 years old, her parents separated. “It was the worst of times. My mom struggled to manage us and learn to operate in society. We were very dysfunctional as a family. As the eldest, I felt responsible.”

In time, Naviah and her three younger siblings moved into a two-bedroom apartment with their father in Greenwood. “I was also starting the 5th grade. With four kids and only a father figure, I naturally assumed the role of mother figure. My dad was working long shifts with non-reliable hours to support us, so every day after school I helped out by cooking and cleaning. I quickly grew stressed in ways a 12-year-old shouldn’t.”

She recalls the moment when everything changed for the better. “One day—out of the blue—my dad told us that we were going to try something new. We were going to the North Seattle Boys & Girls Club every day after school.”

The Club soon became her safety net and helped set her on a path towards success. She started to open up more and flourish—making new friends and learning valuable life skills. As her confidence grew, she began to take on more leadership roles at the Club, including Counselor in Training, Junior Staff, Social Media Director, and Vice President of the Keystone Club.

“I am most thankful to the Club for allowing me to be a kid when I needed it the most!”

Naviah is going places, and she realizes how instrumental the Club has been in her life. “I’ve learned so many important lessons through these leadership opportunities…how to be welcoming, really listen, and be inviting. I now know that I can be all these things for my younger siblings, and I hope to continue to be there to give them advice and to be a positive role model. I am most thankful to the Club for allowing me to be a kid when I needed it the most!”