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Healthy Youth Initiative

The Healthy Youth Initiative works to create a caring community promoting healthy youth and families. The Healthy Youth Initiative has four core focus areas:

  • Prevention of youth alcohol and substance abuse
  • Prevention of youth suicide as well as promotion of youth mental health 
  • Assistance for students in need of housing, clothing, food and school supplies
  • Conducting research and community assessments to ensure that HYI is addressing appropriate needs within the school district and community.

The Healthy Youth Initiative recognizes that many of the issues confronted by today's youth go well beyond the power of school districts to influence; thus we employ a community-based approach that supports public schools while engaging cities and other governments, health organizations, law enforcement, civic organizations, faith-based organizations, non-profit agencies, parents and youth themselves in positive and transformational change supporting healthy life choices.

Originated as the state-funded Issaquah Community Network, the Healthy Youth Initiative grew out of a 2014 unification with the Issaquah Schools Foundation. The Healthy Youth Initiative is now solely funded by generous donors to the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

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Contact the Healthy Youth Initiative Staff



The Healthy Youth Initiative has several offerings that create a network, resources and support for children and families in the greater Issaquah area. 

State of Mind Conferences are annual events held at our district high schools featuing speakers and workshops focused on mental healthy and substance abuse challenges facing our community youth.

learn more about the upcoming conference


BEST (Building Emotional Strength Together) is dedicated to preventing youth suicide by developing a positive understanding of mental resilience. 

Learn more about BEST 

Basic Student Needs is devoted to removing barriers for students at the most fundamental level such as food, clothing and school supplies.

Learn more about Basic Student Needs

Tools4School is a community-wide partnership led by the Issaquah Schools Foundation to provide new backpacks and school supplies for students in the Issaquah School District. Our goal is for all students to be geared for success from day one.

Learn more about Tools4School

Healthy Youth Initiative staff and key leaders:


Andie Adee, Staff
Administrative Accountant, Influence the Choice

Jerry Blackburn
Chair, Influence the Choice

Judy Brewer

Chair, Community Assessments Committee

Nathan Brown, Staff
Evaluation Consultant, TrueBearing

John Carney, Staff
Youth Coordinator, Influence the Choice​

Jessica Carr, Staff
Evaluation Consultant, TrueBearing

Pat Castillo, Staff
Director, Influence the Choice -- Drug Prevention Alliance for Youth

Sarah Dochow
Co-Chair, B.E.S.T.

Barbara de Michele, Staff
Program Director, Healthy Youth Initiative


Kellie Gronski
Co-Chair, Tools 4 School

Lisa Haynes
Secretary, Influence the Choice

Krista Holmes
Co-Chair, Tools 4 School

Kaylee Jaech
Co-Chair, B.E.S.T.
Chair, Teen Cafe Exploratory Committee

Carolyn Kennedy

Issaquah Schools Foundation Board of Directors
Foundation Board Liaison to Healthy Youth Initiative

Suzie Kuflik
Issaquah Schools Foundation Board of Directors

Chair, Basic Student Needs Committee

Tim Patterson
Chair, Sammamish Drug Free Coalition

Laura Smith, Staff
Special Projects Coordinator, Influence the Choice

Harold Speer
Treasurer, Influence the Choice


Fueling Success for Every Student, Every School