SU Voice Alumni Blog

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  • SUYI: Committed to Enriching Children’s Lives


    On February 14, Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg, S.J. announced the launch of the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI). The initiative will bring the university’s entire campus community together to improve the academic achievement of low-income youth living in the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood, provide support for vulnerable families and strengthen the university’s educational programs.    

    The Youth Initiative will be a long-term campus-wide commitment by faculty, staff and students to join parents, the Seattle School District, the City of Seattle, faith communities and more than 30 community organizations to help children succeed in grades K-12, attend college and succeed in life.   

    Children and families living in the area served by Bailey Gatzert, just south of SU, face significant challenges. For example, youth violence and juvenile incarceration are among the highest in Seattle. Many area youth face significant academic challenges throughout their educational experience, creating barriers to graduating from high school - and a lack of access to higher education.   

    “Our dedication to helping and working side by side with underserved populations and those in need is proven and unwavering,” said President Sundborg. “The crisis is acute in our own backyard, and with community-building collaboration, we can make a difference.”   



    All comments are moderated for appropriateness and may take a few minutes to appear.

    Calvin Lyons

    Posted on Friday, March 04, 2011
    Many thanks for forwarding a copy of the Seattle University Youth Initiative pamphlet to my home last week!  I am extremely excited about the work Seattle University accomplishes in our community and look forward to providing support where possible.  It is so wonderful to represent Seattle University as an alumnus and in turn, to be represented by such a dynamic, academic, and passionate community leader – MY Seattle University!  Kudos!

    Helen Donnelly Goehring

    Posted on Friday, March 04, 2011
    I commend Father Sundborg for his vision in reaching out to this community. This Initiative will not only benefit those in the Bailey Gatzert area, but also the Seattle University faculty, students and other volunteers who will be engaged in this effort. The satisfaction in knowing that one has played a part in preparing a young person for college and a life with more options is beyond measure. This is truly living the Jesuit ideal.

    Shannon Schneider

    Posted on Friday, March 04, 2011
    Hello, I am interested in talking with somebody about this initiative.  Who is the contact person for it?

    Tom Hawksworth

    Posted on Friday, March 04, 2011
    Glad to hear about the efforts to help thee children improve their educational prospects.  As the parent of an SU graduate, I have another question I would like to ask..I have tried several times through Pres. Sundborg and through the University to get information on the University's Social Justice positions and what Social Justice means to the University.  Would you be able to help me get some information?  I am surprised everyone seems so reluctant to share what they are doing!  Thank you.

    Stephanie Jacobsen Schuler SU '78, B.Ed

    Posted on Friday, March 04, 2011
    I am very excited about SUYI and proud to be an alumni of SU!  It is exactly what more organizations should be doing; and I believe it will have a profound effect.  How can we get involved?

    Steve Hyer

    Posted on Saturday, March 05, 2011
    It would be an amazing experience for some of these kids in high school to attend the Washington Business Week program this summer,  It is a life changing experience that will inspire the kids to succeed.  It's all about business, teamwork, free enterprise and bringing relevance to thier education.  Our programs are now in thier 36th year.
    Steve Hyer, Exec. Director
    Foundation For Private Enterprise Education
    Federal Way, 253-815-6900

    Brian DiJulio

    Posted on Monday, March 07, 2011
    I am a huge fan of this initiative, and would gladly offer my time and talent to go teach these youth about the Financial Markets and stocks, bonds, and other instruments...I have been a Registered Rep (licensed stock broker/financial advisor) for 25 years, and was hired by an SU Alum, Mike Dennehy, whose brother is also a Jesuit! Would love to give back in this manner, through this program. Let me know what you think!

    Amanda Kelly

    Posted on Friday, March 11, 2011
    Thanks to everyone who is interested in learning more. You can email SUYI directly at I'll post about cooperative alumni volunteer operations in the future.

    Michael Kane

    Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
    Hi,I am interested in talking with somebody about this initiative. Who is the contact person for it?
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