Job Opening: VISTA AmeriCorps Child Youth/Mental Health Focus

Job Opening: VISTA AmeriCorps Child Youth/Mental Health Focus

Applications are only received via the AmeriCorps website. To apply, click here:

Whatcom Family & Community Network is seeking candidates with a positive, growth mindset, a relationship-orientation and a passion to improve child & youth mental health promotion, prevention and programs in Whatcom County. This is a June 2022 to June 2023 position. This professional development position will build skills in networking, facilitation, collaboration, project planning, grant seeking and program development and support.

Please share broadly and with specific individuals who you believe would both benefit and contribute.
The link below provides more details on the position and how to apply.

Candidates apply on line via the AmeriCorps system. The Opportunity Council is involved with selection, placement and oversight of candidate experience and support locally. WFCN is the placement site, that provides supervision for the specific day to day work.

Please click the link below for more information.

Job Opening: Mt. Baker Community Coalition Co-Coordinator

Co-facilitate the development, training and implementation of the Mt. Baker Community Coalition (MBCC), a youth substance abuse prevention and mental wellbeing promotion coalition; Increase public awareness about community-based prevention programming; Outreach to and engage community through in-person and online communications and community activities.

TITLE: Mt Baker Community Coalition Co-Coordinator
HOURS: Mostly between Mon. to Fri. 8 to 5 p.m. Some weekends and evenings.
STATUS: Permanent, Non-Exempt, Grant Funded Position. Part-Time or Full-Time Option (up to 40 hrs/week)
START DATE: Preferred Start Date of August 8, 2022
REPORTS TO: Executive Director

PRIORITY DEADLINE: July 8, but open until filled
TO APPLY: Send cover letter, resume and three (3) professional references to


  • Co-Coordinate the Mt Baker Community Coalition to increase positive outcomes that prevent and reduce youth substance use and develop mental wellbeing; Use community organizing & volunteer management principles;
  • Outreach to and engage community through in-person and online communications (including social media, positive social norm campaigns, surveys, quarterly newsletter, retailer and consumer outreach, and more).
  • Coordinate provision of training to coalition members to build capacity for community-based, data- driven substance abuse coalition work; Public speaking and training skills, and group and meeting facilitation skills.
  • Coordinate Youth Engagement: Plan, coordinate and implement training, activities and events with and for youth, families and prevention professionals to increase youth leadership skills, prevention science knowledge and advances prevention strategies and outcomes.
  • Oversee the student prevention club (youth in 7-12th grades) to educate and advocate with peers about the risks of substance use while reducing stigma and promoting mental health through community connection.
  • Work cooperatively with staff, community members and other groups to develop and implement on-going evidence- based strategies which discourage use/misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs;
  • Conduct participant surveys to evaluate community needs, contract compliance and strategy effectiveness;
  • Plan, develop, implement and monitor grant outcomes that include social media and marketing initiatives.
  • Collaborate with key community stakeholders in the support and implementation of action plans.


  • Excellent oral and written communication, public speaking and training skills, and group and meeting facilitation skills Communicate effectively both orally and in writing with tact, diplomacy and sensitivity;
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the community served by the coalition, specifically Eastern Whatcom County;
  • Demonstrated ability to organize community groups and to work cooperatively with a diversity of people, agencies, public groups and contract agency personnel;
  • Ability to facilitate meetings that encourage participatory leadership and positive development of solutions and community capacity;
  • Organization skills; Proven ability to work independently and prioritize several on-going assignments within contractual requirements including deadlines;
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule and travel within the area served by the coalition with occasional state-wide and out of state travel.
  • WFCN promotes individual and community wellbeing practice and a trauma informed culture of compassion, for self and others. We encourage staff to model self-compassion and teach others as you develop.
  • Proficient computer skills
  • Learns new concepts quickly


  • Possession of a valid driver’s license is preferred. Access to guaranteed, reliable transportation is required. A clean driving abstract may be required by our state funders.
  • Current Certified Prevention Professional credential or ability to obtain within 18 months of appointment upon approval of related training plan (this could be accomplished as part of your workload).
  • Ability to pass Washington State Patrol Background check and any further established background requirements.


  • Preferred Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Human Services, Public Health, Behavioral Sciences, Education, Health Education, Social Sciences or closely related field;
  • Two years of relevant experience in community organizing, program coordination, or community-based programs involving youth, drug/alcohol/tobacco abuse, or other related community health prevention or counseling
  • Working knowledge of substance abuse prevention and prevention science, community development and mobilization, youth development principles, and community organizing approaches
  • Demonstrated ability to create and sustain effective relationships with community partners, foster and share leadership among individuals in the community and build bridges among diverse community members and organizations


  • Starting Range DOE: $25.94-$32 per hour.
  • Medical health benefits with dental; holidays; paid time off (PTO is vacation and health leave); retirement with partial match, life insurance, mileage reimbursement

The CPWI grant, requires that the primary office in which employee maintains work space must be located within community served by coalition. This means within the boundaries of the Mt. Baker School District service area. Work is typically performed primarily in school, office and community environments. Due to COVID, work is performed from both school-based settings as well as either home or office spaces. We are currently limiting face to face meetings, trainings, events and gatherings.

Whatcom Family & Community Network is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

To Apply:
Send cover letter, resume and three (3) professional references to

Job Opening: Youth Mental Wellbeing Program Coordinator

Title: Youth Mental Wellbeing Program Coordinator

FTE/Status: .8 to 1 FTE (32-40 hr/wk) depending on funding and number of hires, up to two positions available.
Start Date: Open Until Filled with March 1, 2022 as a goal
Hours:  Mostly between Mon. to Fri.  8 to 5 p.m.  Some weekends and evenings.
Reports to: Prevention Program Manager
To Apply: Send cover letter, resume and three professional references (including name, title, phone number and email contact) to
Compensation: Starting Range: $23 to $25


  • Coordinate all aspects of a sustainable youth mental wellbeing program, including youth suicide prevention and mental health promotion.
  • Promote healthy youth development by developing and promoting youth leadership opportunities, community and mental health promotion messages, and applying trauma-informed, hope raising and resilience building frameworks and practices.
  • Deliver and strengthen the M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. Youth Suicide Prevention and Mental Wellbeing Training Curriculum, using peer to peer strategies.  Expand capacity for implementation by developing and implementing a Train-the-Trainer model.
  • Lead and support the M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. planning team and youth advisory groups or clubs that develop.
  • Cultivate and convene strategic partnerships to create or strengthen program sustainability.
  • Increase youth & adult leadership and engagement in M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. and other mental wellbeing strategies, including the youth-led Trusted Adult Campaign & Workshops and collaborations like ”Let’s Chalk About It” or “VolunTeen” summer programs.   
  • Participate in program development, including identifying and procuring resources.
  • Develop strong volunteer base of trainers and project leads, especially youth.
  • Supervise AmeriCorps members, interns and/or volunteers.
  • Provide program outreach and community awareness activities, including social media.
  • Collect, analyze, disseminate and report on program data. 
  • Provide research and leadership in recognizing and addressing the disproportionate impact of suicide on LGBTQ+, Native American, Latinx, Rural and BIPOC youth and delivering youth suicide prevention within a social justice framework.


  • Apply advanced organizational and relational and team building skills to develop diverse, strong, trust-based relationships/partnerships/collaborations and to navigate and streamline systems to work with others within systems or develop systems to advance goals.
  • Learn and apply contemporary prevention science theory and strategies to develop and implement quality youth-centered mental wellbeing and suicide prevention programming.
  • Work positively with youth and young adults as valued team members and leaders. Recruit, train, schedule, manage and support volunteers to present M.A.D.-H.O.P.E. workshops and lead other prevention strategies, includes high school and college aged students/interns and adult community members.  Supervise interns, volunteers and others.
  • Demonstrate strong communication, networking, presentation and facilitation skills—awareness of body and spoken language. Use visual aids. Bilingual skills a plus! Present curriculum in high school and middle school classrooms. Develop materials (i.e. curriculum & volunteer manuals).
  • Provide regular face-to-face, e-mail and phone contact with many sector representatives, including county-wide school systems, parents, youth and young adults. Ability to communicate and raise community awareness of youth suicide through social media, Facebook, webpage, etc. and positive social norming.  Outreach to existing and potential clubs and partners.
  • Advanced computing in MS Office applications and other presentation and desktop publishing applications. Creation of forms, flyers, spreadsheets; use of and reporting of data; development of training and guidance materials. Able to learn new technology skills.
  • Assess, evaluate and report on programmatic and operational information as required.
  • Strong problem-solving ability.  Calm under pressure. Strong emotional self-regulation.
  • Demonstrate cultural competency. Work with diverse populations. Value equity & social justice.
  • Positive attitude. Persistent character with understanding and value of a strength-based, abundance perspective and trauma-informed practice.


  • Administrative tasks—e-mailing, phone work, filing, copying, data entry and reporting as relevant to WFCN need and project assignment.
  • Attend Whatcom Prevention Coalition Meetings; Some weekend and evening events.
  • Scheduling and logistics for trainings, community meetings, outreach opportunities, & events.
  • Attend relevant trainings.
  • Seek funding opportunities through networking and research.


  • 2 years experience, successfully and passionately coordinating youth-centered programs; promoting healthy youth development in school systems or youth serving organizations.
  • 1 year experience with youth suicide prevention or related health
  • 1 year experience with data collection and analysis.
  • 1 year experience in well-being promotion.
  • Demonstrated experience in presenting and training.
  • Demonstrated understanding of diversity, inclusion and equity issues in serving youth.
  • Preferred: Bachelor’s Degree in related field or equivalent professional experience.
  • Preferred: Experience working in a middle school/high school setting.
  • Preferred:  Bi-lingual and bi-cultural in Spanish.
  • Candidates lived experience aligned with populations of focus highly encouraged to apply.


  • Starting range: $23 to $25/hour
  • Value work life balance and promote wellbeing. Flexible scheduling aligned with needs of the project.
  • Prorated Health/Dental benefits with FTE. .8 FTE is considered full time and is covered at 100%. Mileage reimbursement for approved travel for business purposes. Generous Paid-Time Off, Bereavement and 11 Holidays
  • Professional development, resume building, professional recommendations.

Whatcom Family & Community Network is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  Candidates with lived experience aligned with populations of focus are highly encouraged to apply.

To Apply: Send cover letter, resume and three professional references (including name, title, phone number and email contact) to

Danita Washington

Danita Washington

2021 Legacy Award Recipient

“How you have walked amongst your people tells it all”, explained Danita Washington in an “Art of Aging” interview.  She shares wise words spoken to her by her grandparents.  This Legacy Award honors her for how she has walked amongst her people to build community, to leverage resources for the benefit of children and families, and to uplift culture and the honorable Lummi nation way of life.

Danita Washington, whose native name is “Ce Leeia” is a respected elder for the Lummi nation, a family leader and a lifetime advocate for the health and well-being of families.

In her life’s work, she was a police officer, a youth outreach coordinator, a founding member of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, and a key member of Lummi’s community mobilization against drugs, which resulted in the establishment of the Lummi Safe House, the Youth Treatment Center, and the Lummi Youth Academy.

She was the co-producer of two locally produced stage productions by Children of the Setting Sun Productions.

In an October 12 podcast of “Young and Indigenous”, Danita elevates the important role of parenting and messages we can choose to give children.  She says, we have power to remind our children all the time, “you are worthy—since the day you were born.”

Parenting and family are close to Danita’s heart.  She has mothered her siblings from a young age, as the eldest child in a large family of 9 full brothers and sisters and 2 half siblings.  She is a parent to her own grown children and an active part of her grandchildren’s lives. 

Parenting is an important job and safety is critical—not only physical safety, but spiritual safety.  You want to protect the sensitive spirit of the child and consider what they may “brush up against.”  The nature of her walk in community is about protection, caring and understanding what children and families are “brushing up against.”  She hopes for parents to have access to what they need to give children the attention they need and to keep families together.

Danita is described as “the heart and soul of what’s good in our community”, and she remains active in Positive Indian Parenting, supporting Lummi victims of crime, and serving as a board member of Children of the Setting Sun Productions.

Danita implores us to slow down, live with balance and moderation and to take the time to connect with one another, with children—our own and those in our community.  Experience one another, laugh, listen, walk—provide opportunities to the children “with good, loving support” so they can find their way to the lives they deserve.   

It is our honor to recognize Danita with the 2021 Legacy Award.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Danita is recognized, click here.

Anne Deacon

Anne Deacon

2021 Legacy Award Recipient

Anne recently retired after a distinguished career with Whatcom County Health Department as Human Services Manager. One of Anne’s first efforts, once she officially began working with the health department in 2008, was to coordinate the behavioral health sales tax initiative. Her advocacy at the local, regional, and statewide level resulted in millions of dollars coming to the county over the years. Her ability to understand the landscape of complex systems and needs has ensured that resources are coordinated and maximized, making every dollar count.

Prior, she managed the state prison system for offenders with mental illness.  There, Anne observed that those incarcerated with mental health issues tended to stay in jail longer due to prolonged behavioral issues that were not adequately treated. Once at the health department, Anne instituted and led system change that allowed those with mental health issues charged with a crime to be diverted to a special mental health court.  She worked with the Bellingham Municipal and Whatcom County court systems to ensure that both the prosecutor and the public defender were part of the program.

Additionally, Anne managed the Ground Level Response and Coordinated Engagement (GRACE) program, which is a system to get those with needs directed to correct support and treatment organizations.  The program was a massive success; thanks to GRACE, there was a 95% reduction in jail stays by those with identified mental health issues.

Using the National Health Prevention, Intervention, Treatment, Aftercare (PITA) Continuum System, Anne assembled a forum of community leaders and providers to ensure an interconnected continuum of care including housing and associated onsite services, behavioral health, substance abuse care, all seven school districts, and the local jail system.

Anne created a fund and infrastructure program that provides services including case manager support to indigent veterans.  She worked with the housing department to obtain housing vouchers for vets. 

Anne’s efforts changed county code and under her leadership, the health dept won an award for health department of the year.

One of Anne’s proudest and most recent accomplishments is the creation of the crisis stabilization center.  It meets specific medical/health care needs and assists in receiving mental health support without the high costs of medical centers.  The crisis stabilization center maintains a standalone 32 bed treatment unit that provides mental health stabilization and detox stabilization.  Most importantly, the program creates a support plan including a discharge plan and avoids releasing those in need without additional support.

Anne is a true pillar of the community and is recognized and honored by her peers and contemporaries.  More importantly, the gratitude of countless community members in need that have been helped by her efforts cannot be truly quantified.  It is our honor to recognize Anne with the Legacy Award.

Thank you for your years of service. We wish you well into your retirement!

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Anne is recognized, click here.

Connected! Young Influencers: Jazmin Carpenter, Wil Henkel, Kiera Hillaire, and Oliver Trulock

Connected! Young Influencers:
Jazmin Carpenter, Wil Henkel, Kiera Hillaire, and Oliver Trulock

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

Our final recipients of the evening are all young adults, whose efforts across two years inspired and taught a nation, as well as our organization about the importance of youth engagement in peer focused mental well-being efforts.

Each of these individuals has their own journey of pain and triumph that united them as champions for youth mental wellbeing.

Kiera’s passion focused on bullying and cyberbullying. Her work is used with the Lummi Behavioral Health Programs, and she has presented a seminar on the issue.

As high schoolers, Oliver and Wil initiated the peer centered support (PCS) and peer centered outreach (PCO) model, which in 2021 has been adopted across all Bellingham high schools; and activated change in the school community.

Jazmin, knowing the impact of losing a loved one to death by suicide, is one of the longest-standing volunteers with the MAD HOPE youth suicide and mental wellbeing program.

Bringing their stories and strengths, they united in the Connected! Project, a nation-wide effort hosted by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, the nation’s premier mental health and substance use recovery association. The larger aim was to explore and learn how youth engagement can positively make change to address and destigmatize mental health.  As “young influencers” they represented diverse efforts happening in Whatcom County and emerged new strategies to promote youth engagement in peer mental well-being.

The team developed the local trusted adult campaign, which included a youth art contest, trusted adult e-card campaign, youth-led trusted adult workshops, social media outreach and a bus ad campaign to promote the role of trusted adults in the lives of youth.

The team strategized about the importance of creative outlets such as art, music, and poetry for youth to metabolize their pressure, stress and big emotions. 

The concept of a zine was developed and brought to fruition by other youth recruited to engage in the broader effort.  While Covid-19 thwarted big plans—concerts, gaming tournaments, etc., but instead “let’s chalk about it” art efforts and outreach through neighborhood “little libraries” emerged.

As Covid forced an online format shift, the young influencers improved the MAD HOPE youth suicide prevention curriculum. This focused on increasing inclusion of cultures for populations with higher health disparity regarding suicidal thinking and action. 

The overall experience was rare, but if expanded and sustained, the model to grow youth engagement, increase youth leadership and save lives is boundless.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Oliver, Kiera, Jazmin and Wil are recognized, click here.

Lisa McOmber

Lisa McOmber

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

Having moved to eastern Whatcom County 3 years ago, when Lisa heard of opportunities to build community through connection and provide sustainable healthy change, she was all in.

The Foothills Community Alliance (FCA) formerly known as the Mount Baker Foundation Partnership, was seeking strong, new leadership. She filled the shoes passionately and brought the group together with clear direction and renewed energy. Her involvement solidified the work, brought several community-building champions to the table, and resulted in the FCA becoming ready to serve needs of local community. She has remained consistent, noticed assets and gaps in other community efforts and stepped in to recruit, lead and facilitate for everyone’s good. She has been instrumental in laying foundation for positive community change for generations.

Lisa also leaned in to help the local neighborhood safety and block watch type group reimagine themselves as an effort that could balance hope with very real concerns. The group centers its efforts by elevating community strengths and finding collaborative solutions.  Lisa has brought together folks of diverse viewpoints to make progress on community goals aligned with social determinants of health including increased safety, garbage removal, and beautification.

During the past year and a half of pandemic, she, along with others, kept this work rolling forward collaborating with many community organizations and neighbors. These were no small tasks during uncertain times.

Lisa’s kind hand at the tiller of community efforts has made all the difference. Thank you, Lisa!

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Lisa is recognized, click here.

Lhaq’temish Foundation

Lhaq’temish Foundation

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

The Lhaq’temish Foundation developed Xwlemi’ Resilience, an integrated community health strategy, designed as a Lummi community level response to Covid-19. They collaborated to provide the Lummi community with high quality services, safe social connections, inter-agency referrals, and healthy engagement activities throughout the pandemic. Through the Xwlemi’ Resilience collaborative, Lhaq’temish Foundation leveraged resources to increase community planning, increase access to services for children and families, and increase the overall connection among community members at the local level.

 Xwlemi’ Resilience is responding to the overall public health crisis in response to the coronavirus. In order to restore balance to the Lummi community, they are approaching health and well-being as a transformational process that addresses the whole person. Xwlemi’ Resilience has one priority goal – to increase protection for the health and quality of life for the Lummi people. This is being done by increasing the coordination of services at a centralized and consistent location and increasing the coordination of services between partner organizations and Lummi tribal program services.

The Lummi people are resilient, and have worked since time immemorial to preserve, promote and protect their schelangen (way of life). Elders and cultural experts teach the people to know their food, land, water, and medicinal plants. Learning who one’s people are and where they come from is invaluable because it places cultural values and principals and their strengths and resiliency factors, into context and passes knowledge down to the next generations.

We are honored to recognize the Lhaq’temish Foundation for being at the center of wellness for the Lummi people.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Lhaq’temish Foundation is recognized, click here.

Ricardo Sanchez

Ricardo Sanchez

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

Ricardo Sanchez es una persona tan honorable que siempre está disponible a ayudar. Él ha sido parte de nuestra comunidad latina en Whatcom County por muchos años. Sus hijos han atendido las escuelas de Bellingham, y él sabe la gran necesidad que existe en nuestra comunidad de fortalecer las relaciones entre familias, la escuela, y los vecindarios. Ha dedicado un número incontable de horas hacer lo necesario para que los estudiantes y las familias se sientan que en verdad son parte de esta comunidad. Ricardo sabe, y entiende que la presencia y la ayuda que él puede ofrecer en las escuelas y con las familias es fundamental para el desarrollo de este.

En su opinión, el granito de arena que el aporta día a día, impacta positivamente a los estudiantes y sus familias. Todo lo que el quiere, es que las familias sepan que no están solos, y siempre hay alguien aquí dispuesto para apoyarles. Que todo es posible, y que lo único que se necesita es la voluntad para ayudar y hacer los sueños y posibilidades realidad.

Ricardo sabe que lo esencial para alcanzar las metas de esta comunidad es alzar la voz y hablar por los que no pueden hacerlo, por esto es que el incansablemente participa en comités, haciendo trabajo voluntario, o lo que se necesite para apoyar a la comunidad latina.

Él sabe y entiende la gran necesidad que las familias de habla hispana tienen, y el quiere brindarles la seguridad de que aquí siempre hay alguien dispuesto a ayudarles. Estamos felices de darle un premio al desarrollo de la comunidad a Ricardo.

Ricardo Sanchez is an honorable person, who is always available to help Spanish speaking and Latino culture families interact with schools and community. He has been a part of our Latino community in Whatcom County for many years. His children attended Bellingham schools, and he knows the great need in our community to strengthen relationships between families, schools, and neighborhoods. He has dedicated countless hours to doing what it takes to help students and families feel welcome and truly be a part of this community. Ricardo knows and understands that the presence and help that he can offer in schools and with families is essential for the development of future relationship and connection.

In his opinion, the “grain of sand” that he contributes every day, positively impacts students and their families. All he wants is for families to know that they are not alone, and there is always someone here ready to support them. That anything is possible, and that all it takes is the will to help and make dreams and possibilities come true.

Ricardo knows that to achieve the goals of this community, it is essential to speak out and speak for those who cannot, that is why he tirelessly participates in committees, doing volunteer work, or whatever is needed to support the Latino community.

He knows and understands the great need that Spanish-speaking families have, and he wants to give them the assurance that there is always someone here willing to help them. We are happy to give Ricardo a Community Building Award.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Ricardo is recognized, click here.

Lummi Language and Schelangen Department

Lummi Language and Schelangen Department

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

The Lummi Language and Schelangen Department has, at the request of the Lummi Nation and the broader community, developed the land acknowledgement resolution which was passed by tribal council on June 15, 2021. This land acknowledgement is the basis of the one presented in the event program. Land acknowledgments are intended to be a powerful way to respect and honor indigenous peoples and is one way to resist erasure of indigenous histories, honoring and inviting the truth, while also supporting overall increased connection among community members.

The Lummi language is called Xwlemi’ Chosen. As part of colonialization of the lands inhabited by Native Americans, native languages were forbidden to be spoken.  Much of native learning is done in the oral tradition—wisdom and knowledge passed from generation to generation through spoken word–much language and culture was at risk of being lost.

The Lummi Language and Schelangen Department is essential to the Lummi Nation in its effort to reclaim and restore language and culture for the wellbeing of its people for generations to come.

The department is at the center of development and implementation of Xwlemi’ Chosen resources that help teach and share the traditional language of the Lummi people and promote indigenized educational opportunities for the greater community. The language department has served over 300 K through 12 students enrolled in Whatcom County to learn Lummi culture and language.

Their leadership continues to expand reach and engagement within our region while strengthening relationships and uplifting pride and confidence in being the Lhaq’temish, the Lummi people.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Lummi Language and Schelangen Department is recognized, click here.