Working to reduce the initiation and use of cannabis, commercial tobacco and Vape products by youth
The Youth Cannabis and Commercial Tobacco Prevention Program’s mission is to prevent initiation and reduce cannabis and commercial tobacco use by youth, ages 12-20, support adults who influence youth, leverage resources for promoting and supporting commercial tobacco dependence treatment for all ages, and to reduce cannabis and commercial tobacco-related inequities within Washington State. We work closely with the Department of Health and the Liquor and Cannabis Board to provide current and relative information about Cannabis, Commercial Tobacco and Vape use.
Ileana started her career in San Francisco as a Marketing Research Assistant for one of the first Latino Newspaper called “El Mensajero”. She eventually became the Product Manager and Newspaper Spokesperson and is proud that they are still in publication thanks to her contribution. Ileana was then recruited by Sprint Communications as the Latina Representative for the Northern California Latino market. It has always been her passion to work with and represent our Latino contribution to our newfound country and our people within our communities. She and her husband moved from the Bay Area to Seattle and ended up at her Beloved El Centor de la Raza.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is THC?
THC is the abbreviation for “tetrahydrocannabinol“, which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that produces the high sensation. It can be consumed by smoking cannabis or in other forms such as oils, edibles, tinctures, etc
What is CBD?
CBD is a Cannabis derived from the THC Plant. Many different stores are now selling products including delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC and CBD, or cannabidiol. These causes people to wonder whether these compounds are legal, if they are safe to consume and which of their advertised medicinal benefits hold up to scientific scrutiny.
How do I talk to my child about Cannabis use?
Parents can help protect kids against drug use by giving them the facts before they’re in a risky situation. This can make them less likely to experiment with drugs or to rely on friends for answers.
Corazoncito is a Social Emotional Learning Program that includes academics to help young scholars succeed in school and in life. We do this by providing caregivers with resources they can practice at home in our monthly workshops and in our 1:2 academic 1-hour coaching sessions.
Attend Sunnycrest Elementary School
From a refugee/ immigrant family and/or
Isabel Crisostomo, Corazoncito Case Manager
Isabel is a University of Washington Alumni and daughter of migrant parents from the Mexican state of Michoacan. She has over six years of experience in education.
To get started, please apply via our interest form!
My child attends a different school; can they still be part of Corazoncito?
Preference is given to Sunnycrest students, but other children from other schools will be considered depending on program space.
Do I need to attend all the workshops and 1:2 coaching sessions?
We highly encourage you to be an engaged caregiver to benefit from the program to the fullest. However, we understand life happens. Please communicate your needs with the Case Manager so she can best support you.
Can more than one of my children be in the program?
Yes, if they meet the requirements. We have programs available for other ages as well.
Bahlam Bots Robotics program gives students an opportunity to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of science and principals of coding, with a cultural component. Robotics at El Centro de la Raza teaches students that our ancestors were already scientists, engineers, and creatives. Bahlam Bots builds confidence within youth to be able to ask questions, to learn from mistakes, and to continue to be curious about learning. There is something for everyone: coding, using power tools, learning about the history of science.
Middle School Students, 6th-8th Grades
In the Seattle Area
Mimi es orgullosamente hija de inmigrantes. She studied at the University of Washington, worked in Early Childhood education for 5 years and transitioned to middle school programming 2 years ago. She is passionate about serving her community, theatre, and going to concerts!
JingHan is from Malaysia and loves science, nature, food, travel, culture, and languages. She was a physics teacher in Watsonville, California for more than 7 years before coming to Seattle. She really loves being able to share her passion for science with the students.
Our after-school program provides a safe community, where scholars are inspired to learn through: curiosity, truth, and vulnerability. Grounded in ethnic studies, we aim to create critical thinkers, who are not afraid to question the world around them. Our cultural enrichment segment is rooted in ethnic studies: discussing social justice issues and understanding means of advocating for themselves and others, allowing youth to explore their identities and understanding various factors that have influenced them, and leadership opportunities and understanding how they are part of larger community. Our Academic Support segment allows scholars to ask questions and receive homework support. If scholars do not have homework, we develop academic lessons to help support and reinforce skills that they are learning in school.
Middle School Student – 6th-8th grade
Current student at Seattle School District or Evergreen Middle School
Mimi Santos, K-8 Programs Manager
Mimi es orgullosamente hija de inmigrantes. After she studied at the University of Washington, she worked in Early Childhood education for five years before transitioning to middle school programming two years ago. She is passionate about serving her community, theatre, and going to concerts!
Alexis Rodriguez, Seattle After School Program Coordinator
Alexis graduated from the University of Washington with a dual degree in Biology and American Ethnic Studies. Prior to join El Centro de la Raza, Alexis worked as a STEM tutor, public health coordinator, and research assistant. During his free time, he enjoys traveling, fishing and spending time with family.
Addy Alvare, Federal Way Resource Family Navigator
Addy is a proud immigrant who came to the U.S at a young age. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2019, and began a career working in nonprofit youth programs. She joined El Centro de la Raza’s middle school program in August 2022. Addy loves to travel, try new food and make new friends!
Our program goal is to mentor, guide and create career pathways for young adults. Ultimately, we want to increase access to education, training, and employment. If you know a young adult that is no longer attending school, we’re here to help them figure out what’s next! Pre-apprenticeship placements are our specialty!
16 – 24 years of age
King County Resident
Not Attending School (Out-of-school youth)
Looking for technical/pre-apprenticeship career opportunities
Jesus G. Mendoza, Program Case Manager
Jesus was born in Mexico and raised in Washington state. He is a University of Washington graduate, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Public Health. With more than five years of experience working with youth of all ages, Jesus’ mission is to help others achieve their goals and dreams no matter the barrier.
I’m looking for a job – can you find me a job or place me in a job?
Our pre-apprenticeship program focuses on placing our participants in training programs that prepares them for full-time apprenticeships or full-time jobs. The good news is that once you have completed your trainings you will be fully prepared to tackle an apprenticeship head-on with certifications and training certificates to boost your pay!
What kind of support services do you offer?
We support you with various services such as milestone stipends, case management, leadership skills, mentoring skills and much more!
El Centro de la Raza’s Si Se Puede Academy is a GED program for jovenes that are 18-21 years old in King County. If you haven’t earned your high school diploma or GED then this is the opportunity for you!Lanzate con El Centro de la Raza! Earn your GED. Gain access to mentors that look like you and prepare for a high paying career, porque aqui…¡Si Se Puede! Our program is flexible, we offer both in person and virtual session. At Si Se Puede Academy you get to build a schedule that works best for you!
Must be 18-21 years old
King County Resident
Have not received their high school diploma
Desire to design a program that works for them
Elsa Alvarado, Program Manager
Elsa is a proud immigrant and LA native, she is deeply committed to community and youth work. She is passionate about empowering jovenes and helping them find their path to success.
Emmanuel Lopez, GED Instructor
Emmanuel is a Quincy, WA native, with a passion for serving and supporting community in educational access. He enjoys building community and fostering relationships to help others be seen, heard, celebrated and find success en lo que sea!
“El Profe” Nito Flores, GEDInstructor
Nito is a LA native, who’s house is divided Bruin/Trojan, with a passion for Education and Educational Technology. With over a decade of classroom experience in the US and South Korea, El Profe Nito brings in various effective approaches to learning to both English and Spanish scholars.
The focus of our program is to inspire young critical thinkers through community building activities and programing!
Hope for Youth is focused on bringing more Chicano and Latino history to students in the Federal Way School district, specifically Thomas Jefferson High School. Our program mainly works with teachers in the Heritage Spanish classes to develop curriculum that gives students the opportunity to feel more empowered to continue developing their ethnic and racial identities, while also enriching their educational experience. When we are not in the classroom, we also support the Latino Student Union club with events and leadership development. Through our programming, students engage in community based projects, attend field trips, and develop art pieces to gain the tools needed to express their feelings about civil rights issues impacting Latinos and other communities of color.
Be a current student at Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way
Maria Casarez, M.Ed
Maria is from Yakima, WA and grew up in a farmworker family. Being the first one in her family to graduate college, she was exposed to all the challenges that come with applying to pursing higher education. Through our youth programs at El Centro de la Raza, we hope to help bridge the gap so that more youth can pursue their post-secondary goals, while also exploring their identities.
Kimberly is a first year college student at Highline Community College studying to get her AA degree so she can transfer to a university to become an educator in high school. When she was a part of the Hope for Youth program, she was the LSU president, so she’s excited to be back to support student officers with their leadership development.
Perla is a first year college student at PLU studying Elementary Education with a minor is Hispanic Studies. She was also a part of the Hope for Youth program during her senior year of high school, and she is excited to be back!
If you are interested in participating, please go to our office at Thomas Jefferson High school to learn more!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find you at Thomas Jefferson High School?
We’re super excited to have an office at Thomas Jefferson High School this year! Our office is a little hidden but if you want to set up a time to come talk to us you can call, text, or email us and we can show you exactly where our office is at the school!
Do I have to speak Spanish or be a part of LSU to get help?
Everyone is welcomed to visit us in our office! We do work closely with the Latino Student Union club and with the Heritage Spanish classes, however, we can provide 1:1 support during lunches and after school if you need someone to talk to and are not a part of the club or the classes. We can also provide support with planning for life after high school!
The ELEVAR Case Management Program provides culturally relevant intervention to youth.
ELEVAR provides support, mentorship, and celebrate scholars as they navigate educational institutions. Our services include but are not limited to monthly 1:1 case management sessions and restorative community circles. Through restorative community practices, scholars learn to trust and bond with their peers ultimately creating a sense of belonging and connection to their community. Integrated into our program services model, is an exploration of youths’ cultural identity through an applied ethnic studies framework. These elements combined will further strengthen their sense of identity, all necessary traits to counter the school to prison pipeline.
Federal Way District Middle School or High School Student
Must attend Monthly Workshop
Must meet once Monthly with Case Manager
Ruby Vigo, MSW
Ruby is originally from Seattle and grew up involved in many youth programs. Being a part of these programs helped her find relatable mentors that guided her to become the person she is today. Ruby hopes to be a similar mentor to young folks in Federal Way.
To sign up, please contact Ruby via text or phone!
Do participants have to be from the Federal Way School District?
Yes, they must be attending a Federal Way School District Middle or High School
What do you do in this program?
We have monthly themed workshops where we have community circles and discuss a monthly topic. We then go on to community building activities with snacks and music. In our monthly one-on-one meetings, we set and discuss personal goals to get you where you’d like to be.
We provide youth with workforce development services including career exploration, connection to pre-apprentice programs and professional development opportunities, job readiness training, and referrals to supportive services.
The Youth J.O.B. Readiness Program is designed to assist youth with identifying career pathways related to their interests with a focus on living wage careers. We provide classes and workshops to develop basic professional skills and provide students with opportunities for professional development. Students are guided in the creation of a working portfolio including a resume, cover letter, job/internship application plan, list of community and financial resources, and more. Youth J.O.B. Readiness program supports families by offering family/parent workshops and informational sessions in order to increase family support for students’ academic and professional progress.
High School Student
Seattle Public School District
Chris Espinoza Alvarez
Chris was born in Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated with her family as a child to the US. She is passionate about serving her community and enjoys some good chisme over some cafecito con pan.
Selena is the daughter of Mexican migrant farm workers and a first-generation college graduate. Her desire to work with underrepresented communities stems from her own experiences of not having adequate resources and support.