Supporting Adults in Youth Work

There are a lot of reasons to support youth engagement, including it’s affects on young people and the larger communities they’re part of. Today I want to share an excellent opportunity to find out how youth engagement affects adults and to support them in the process. Kyla Lackie of Seattle’s SOAR ( and I areContinue reading “Supporting Adults in Youth Work”

Youth Involvement Stagnates

The national youth involvement movement has stagnated. For more than 20 years it has promoted almost the exact same approaches to addressing challenges are radically different today than ever before. Something has got to get different, and get that way rapidly. I first became aware of the national effort to systematically involve youth throughout systemsContinue reading “Youth Involvement Stagnates”

Are Youth Allowed On Nonprofit Boards?

A board of directors is a legally-designated decision-making body in a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that is charged with establishing and maintaining an organization. They set the goals and objectives of the organization and maintain the authority to govern the organization throughout its existence. Can youth participate in nonprofit boards of directors? It depends. In theContinue reading “Are Youth Allowed On Nonprofit Boards?”

The REAL New Media

The future of mass media in the United States is a bright and positive one. Now, I know that flies in the face of all the mainstream reports about the death of newspapers (long live the P-I) and the absence of popularity for television news. But folks, I'm here to say that there is aContinue reading “The REAL New Media”

Lessons Learned: Tell Your Stories

This is the last of four posts reflecting on my experience of starting a nonprofit. In 2004, after running The Freechild Project for three years and SoundOut for two, I called together a group of friends here in Olympia to help me form a 501c3 nonprofit organization called CommonAction. CommonAction’s mission was “to create uncommonContinue reading “Lessons Learned: Tell Your Stories”

Lessons Learned: Know When to Fold ‘Em

I was raised with the idioms, “work smarter not harder” and, “when the going gets tough the tough get going,” ringing through the air. The neighborhood where I spent my teen years was full of entreprenuers, some more legal than others, but all determined to get theirs in a difficult situation. All that is toContinue reading “Lessons Learned: Know When to Fold ‘Em”

Lessons Learned: Small Things

Starting a nonprofit organization appealed to my grandest visionary tendencies. To begin CommonAction I brought a sweeping notion that was inspired by what I’d started with The Freechild Project and SoundOut a few years earlier: “Let’s engage all young people everywhere in as much as meaningfully as we can!” Working from that place I engagedContinue reading “Lessons Learned: Small Things”

Lessons Learned: Money Matters

I find myself increasingly ready to openly reflect on my experience of starting a formal nonprofit organization and having to fold it after just three years. While CommonAction had a vibrant run, I still find myself a little bit stung; however, out of that sentiment comes some learning I want to share. This post isContinue reading “Lessons Learned: Money Matters”