New Staff Series: Mayka Chang
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
Careful observers of School’s Out Washington may have noticed that we’ve been posting for and hiring many new staff members over the last few months, all to meet the growing demand for our services. The first new staff member of this wave is Mayka Chang, Program Quality Administrative Assistant, who will be supporting all of the logistics that goes into our Youth Program Quality Initiative, which engages afterschool, youth development, and summer programs in a years-long process of quality improvement.
Let’s learn a bit about her!
Where are you from?
In the midst of the Vietnam War and the U.S. Secret War in Laos, I was born in Laos. As a 2-year old Hmong refugee, I was fortunate to move with my family to Honolulu, Hawaii where we lived for five years. When our extended family and friends started migrating from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest, my family decided to reside in Portland, Oregon. Eventually we made our way to Seattle, Washington and have been here ever since.
What do you like to do in your own time?
With a crafty and colorful heritage, I delight in exploring other cultures through art, music, and food. The world is still yet to be discovered in many ways, so whether it be experimenting with a recipe or cooking with a different ingredient or product, I can be found guilty of making a mess in the kitchen. I can easily find inspiration in anything and everything to design a new project, to integrate a different perspective or to connect some historical or cultural artifact with modern materials that we can appreciate today. Come rain or come shine, I love being outdoors in the wonderful greenery and landscapes. I especially love spending time with my nieces and nephews, exploring the multi-faceted beaches, play areas and activities around the Puget Sound.
What brought you to SOWA?
Through volunteer work, it has been rewarding to support and work with children and young people. I have seen and value how caring adults can change lives when we truly engage with children and youth in meaningful ways. While searching to align my personal passions with my professional work through nonprofits that focused on building brighter futures for young people, I discovered this opportunity. I am glad to join School’s Out Washington, to learn more about the different afterschool programs in Washington, and to have a role in providing support to these programs.
Tell us one thing that you are proud of.
Many life experiences have allowed me to interact with people from a variety of cultures, to see the spirit and resiliency that can be found in all of us, and to learn that we all have opportunities to impact others positively. I am most proud of being part of a supporting and encouraging family that values life, education, and equal opportunities through our different roles and responsibilities. I appreciate that my family has taught me to strive to live to the fullest, to be giving, and to be a lifelong learner.
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