The important work of WFCN includes convening and connecting diverse people and their perspectives around significant issues that impact the lives of children, families and communities. We hold space in community for change to spark and catalyze. I value discussion as action, use of strength-based perspective and creativity as a source of solutions and dreams for our children, families and communities.
I come to the staff with over 27 years of human services experience in public safety, civic engagement, adult education, and non-profit management. I have a heart for providing children love and safety in families and communities and a personal understanding of the impact adverse childhood experiences can have on individuals and families.
I enjoy time with family and friends. I love camping, kayaking, biking casually, walking and swimming for exercise. I attend church and community events that further develop my spiritual and social relationships. I enjoy listening to music and creating things.
Whatcom Prevention Coalition Coordinator/
Growing up in Michigan, I watched one of my grandmothers live in poverty while still freely giving shelter to families in the living room of her small home is Detroit; my other grandmother proudly volunteered for the American Red Cross as a nurse aid during WWII. My mother struggled with mental illness and died of breast cancer when I was 12; my sisters were 14 and 16. During my mother’s many illnesses, I witnessed my father care for her with great dedication and compassion. WFCN supports and helps cultivate the growth of healthy families and communities where compassion, trauma-informed care, connecting together, building our resiliency and honoring the many gifts in our community are at the core of what we do. I try to see and practice the compassion I learned from my father and grandmothers in my work every day.
My primary role as Whatcom Prevention Coordinator involves bringing together a wide range of professionals, parents, youth, family members, teachers, counselors and others committed to preventing youth substance abuse and youth suicide while promoting healthy development for youth in our community. My professional background includes peace education work, supporting youth, communities and schools, and serving the elderly, people with developmental disabilities, and survivors of domestic violence.
I build my resiliency by spending time with my family, singing, walking outdoors, reading and appreciating the beauty in our community. I also remind myself to breath deeply!
Mt. Baker Community Coalition Coordinator
Whatcom Family & Community Network builds strong families and youth by tapping into the strengths of the leaders in the community. The empowering process of emerging these leaders and creating opportunity for individuals to overcome and build resilience together is a mighty force. Our work in the Mt. Baker/Columbia Valley area is especially dear to my heart. I am so blessed to witness the transformation of the community, in which I live and have grown to love, and equally blessed to work with so many individuals with hearts of gold, who pour themselves out in service to others.
My experience working with youth in a peer counseling setting, as well as many close relationships with individuals struggling with addiction and family struggles allows me to bring a unique perspective of the struggles families and youth face in this time. This has also equipped me with wisdom for offering appropriate resources that meet real needs.
Whatcom County is a great place to build resilience! Connecting with God in His creation, through running, hiking, and kayaking gives me stamina, peace and gratitude. Resilience is meant to be shared! I believe it is best built when we learn to be gentle with ourselves and others. I do this by spending time with my sisters and sharing the tough but rewarding journey of motherhood. Additionally, equipping youth with life skills, keeps resilience alive in me.
Whatcom Family and Community Network focuses on community organizing and facilitates training and discussions with residents, staff and key leaders to solve problems and build on existing community strengths. We believe healthy and well connected communities are necessary to support healthy families. I enjoy learning about some of the positive impacts WFCN has had within the community with our various programs.
I grew up in Wisconsin and raised our family in Minnesota with my husband. I moved to Bellingham at the end of 2015 to be closer to my daughter. I truly love the area and being 15 minutes from the bay and 45 minutes from the mountains.
I have over 30 years’ experience as an Accountant but have only worked three years in the non-profit sector. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, meeting new people, traveling and playing cards.
Administrative and Program Coordinator
At Whatcom Family and Community Network, we are really committed to people being at the center of our community and its solutions. I am impressed at WFCN’s impetus and success in having new conversations in a new way that create space for something new to grow. Connecting care for people with the clarity that we still have work to do, has us be able to move forward together.
Growing up in South Dakota, while also having lived in places across our country and world, I embrace the diversity of ways that life can be lived, and am clear that we can live it together. In the words of Storypeople, “I don’t think of it as working for world peace, he said. I think of it as just trying to get along in a really big strange family”. With over 10 years of experience in non-profit organizations, I have held roles including community organizer, administrator, and fundraiser. I am excited to have found a home here in Bellingham at Whatcom Family and Community Network.
I love spending time with my partner and little kiddos. As someone who loves music and dancing, I try to do that as much as possible – be it at my house, out on the town or during the Zumba classes I teach. Bellingham is really one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever lived (and I’ve moved a lot) – so I really enjoy gardening and going for walks around town.
Suicide Prevention Specialist
Whatcom Family and Community Network takes an incredibly refreshing approach to social and community issues. Instead of prodding at them with a stick and hoping that throwing statistics and information at problems will fix them, the WFCN takes a step back from the way we measure problems. Through encouragement, hope, resilience, and action, the WFCN empowers people and the community to work through their own problems by connecting people with resources. It is refreshing because we treat people like people, not like numbers.
I am a young philosophy student. A servant to the community and although my work-world experience is limited, my ideas are fresh and attack the root of the problem. I grew up in Seattle in a privileged white community and while I represent the majority on paper, I work every day to represent the minority in reality. I am incredibly motivated by the potential to make a difference and everyday that potential becomes a reality.
Simple things keep me happy. I love the rain; listening to the sound of the water dripping on a tin roof, or falling through the canopy of evergreens like Pachinko. I love seeing the people in Whatcom smile and treat each other with respect. When I am down in the dumps, my mood is always improved by my labradoodle, Cowboy, and when it’s nice out we hike along the many trails around Whatcom County. When I don’t have the time to get outdoors or exercise, I love to play video games, practice yoga, read books, and write both fiction and nonfiction.
Whatcom Family and Community Network believes in bringing community members together and using our combined strengths to solve problems at the source. We recognize that hardships do occur but they do not have to dictate our futures and we do not have to endure them on our own.
Jackie is an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving as the CONNECTED Youth Mental Well-Being Coordinator at the Whatcom Family and Community Network. She graduated from Western Washington University last winter with an interdisciplinary degree involving somatic psychology and animal-assisted therapy. She works closely with M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. and is passionate about supporting youth. Jackie enjoys being outdoors, reading, and spending time with animals, especially her cat Peaches.
Youth Outreach Coordinator
Whatcom County is rich with natural beauty and community resources. It’s important to me that everyone who lives here enjoys this beautiful place and feels a sense of belonging to the community. My work with youth focuses on connecting them with each other, caring adults and the community. WFCN as an organization wraps its arms around our children and believes in their potential as future leaders.
I have over 25 years of work with youth in public schools from pre-K through high school age, 17 of those years in Bellingham. Additionally, I’m bilingual in English-Spanish and have a strong connection to the Hispanic community in Bellingham.
To build my own resilience, I work hard to remind myself to take time for me. When I do, my favorite ways to treat myself are hiking, yoga, Zumba and salsa dancing, cooking, reading, and gardening.