Have you ever felt like something really changed your life? A huge life change that you are so appreciative for? Being apart of Rainier Beach Action Coalition is the event that changed my life. RBAC opened doors for me I never even knew existed. RBAC has taught me so much that I will forever be grateful for. Having that feeling of accomplishment is one of the best feelings. My journey with RBAC has been an amazing one and me being a youth it’s very important to tell my story.

Hello, I’m Mariam. I am a circle keeper and corner greeter through RBAC’s Beach 5 program, I’m the one on the left in the picture above. I call my story “RBAC Journey”.

It was summer before sophomore year of high school (Rainier Beach). I was looking for employment around South Seattle but I couldn’t find anything. Ms. Danielle who was the Resident Service Coordinator at the time, at Urban Impact’s Emerald City Commons, where I lived. I asked her if she had any job resources and she told me to come to a meeting where I could get help.

A few days later I went to the meeting and met Mr. Davis, Ms. Patrice, and Ms. Wanda. They told me who they were individually and what RBAC was. Ms. Wanda gave me an application for a youth engagement worker at RBAC. I filled out the application and returned it to Ms. Danielle who said she would give it to Mr. Davis. It had been a week or two and I hadn’t heard anything. I got Mr. Davis’ phone number and gave him a call. He told me he would contact me with details about working within the next two weeks. The next week I was going through my email and received one from Mr. GuyAnthony regarding interviews. I went into the interview nervous but was glad because it was a group interview. I knew both women I was being interviewed with. The next week I was going through my emails and I had noticed an email from Mr Guyanthony, saying I got the job. I was so happy and beyond ecstatic to know someone had faith in me. I learned many skills which include being more comfortable when doing outreach. When I see community members I don’t struggle as much to hold a conversation and tell them about RBAC and what is going on in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. I also learned how to plan events and really follow agendas. Things that really take you far in life, skills that you can utilize in the future.

To know someone had faith in me was the bow on my heart. I was appreciative of the position. As soon as I started working the love was real. It felt genuine, authentic and refreshing. An opportunity I will forever be grateful for. Something God put in my path for a reason, to do the work I’m meant to do. RBAC has also shown me that older folks should believe in you because we are the next up to do this important work. When I really say RBAC changed my life for the better, it really did. Here are some things I have learned – doing outreach – talking to people; stepping outside of comfort zone; learning how to plan events, learning to be a circle keeper; time management; managing time – mapping out activities over time and advocating for self.