Grace Scarella, Site Coordinator

I’m Grace Scarella, the new Site Coordinator at Rainier Vista.  Two busy months have passed since I started working for Nature Consortium, and fall quarter classes are in full swing.  The quick pace and vibrancy of my job is what originally drew me to working with kids. 

Over seven years ago, I began volunteering in a parochial music education program in the Hmong community in the Central District.  Working with youth from different Laotian tribes showed me how important it is for youth to embrace their family and ethnic cultures; as a Filipino-American who has been raised to embrace my own cultural identity, I was inspired to co-create and develop a new organization, A.T.A.S. Pinoy, that uses traditional folk dances, songs, and history as channels to foster in Filipino-American youth a sense of identity, understanding, and pride in their cultural background. 

After graduating from Gonzaga University and returning to Seattle, I sought to continue my efforts in reaching out to kids from diverse communities.  All of my work with youth in settings that emphasize art and cultural identity has helped make my transition to Nature Consortium’s Youth Art Program as smooth as it can be.  I love the constant energy that is present when working with kids—the enthusiasm is one of the many reasons I love working with youth every day.  However, any new job is not without its challenges.  Many innovative and passionate people work in the Rainier Vista community, and finding my role while forging new relationships with the youth and staff are significant moments in my day. 

Every minute I spend with the kids has been rewarding as I learn more about the youth and their interests.  I’m looking forward to building on what I’ve discovered so far, opening up access to the YAP in the Rainier Vista community, and developing new partnerships that can benefit all the youth!