In 2007, with a mission of empowering leaders for a just and humane world and an established tradition of service, Seattle University began to collectively reflect on how we might make an even greater impact. After intensively consulting with members of our surrounding community, it was apparent that the university's resources and efforts were most urgently needed by the youth living right here in our neighborhood.
Focus on Educating Our Youth
At our doorstep is a community of youth and families confronting poverty, violence and educational barriers. Ninety four percent of the children attending the neighborhood elementary school, Bailey Gatzert, receive free or reduced lunches. The rates of youth violence and juvenile incarceration in the neighborhood are among the highest in Seattle.
Called to Respond
As a Jesuit Catholic university we are compelled to serve those most in need, and we are called in a special way to respond to the community of which we are a part. With eight colleges and schools, we have the resources to make a difference. Collaborating with our community partners, we will draw upon our strengths in service-learning, community-based research, clinical and internship experiences, facilities, scholarships, and staff, faculty and alumni expertise in order to improve the lives and educational opportunities of our neighborhood's young people.
The Seattle University Youth Initiative will unite Seattle University and the wider community to improve the academic achievement of low-income youth living in the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood while strengthening the education of Seattle University students and expanding professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. Our vision is to significantly transform Seattle University and the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood and, in so doing, become a national model of campus-community engagement.
Seattle University's Board of Trustees approved a detailed Action Plan that helps set a course for the Youth Initiative in its initial phase. At the same time, the Seattle University Youth Initiative is an evolving entity that will be adjusted as we move forward and continue to listen and learn from our partners in the community. We invite you to find out more about the Initiative and, most important, to find a way to get connected.