These narratives were part of our goal of connecting community during our 20th year anniversary (2022). The following are 20 narratives about who White Center is and what leadership and community commitment means.
I live in White Center! I moved here in September 27, 2013 to Seola Garden. Before I lived in Highpoint in West Seattle. After a couple of months, I met someone at Seola Garden that was facilitating Play and Learn for children and parents, so I joined. I attended every Friday with my two kids. My kids and I really enjoyed the time we had there.
My name is Ruby, my pronouns are she/her. I've lived in White Center for my whole life. I've done a bit of volunteer work for the Jazz Band at my school, and for other organizations during middle school, I joined the LGBTQ+ Club my senior year and have been working for the school district in a program called Team Read, where I mentor elementary students from 2nd to 4th grade in reading.
I love White Center, and I wish that the government could pay more attention to us like the way they do with Seattle or Burien.
I am a resident here in White Center. I have been living here since I immigrated from El Salvador in 2003. I came here because of my aunt, but I stayed because of the community. People come from all over, and everyone helps each other.
Through bike club, I met Pat Thompson and she is the only person to ever convince me to ride my bike from Seattle to Portland, wake up at the crack of dawn to discuss my feelings, to run 5Ks on Saturdays, and now co-host a podcast. YES! has been and still is a huge part of my life. I have seen the magic of community building and it has created important relationships. It is beautiful seeing our youth putting in the work to create a space they deserve and adults fighting alongside them.
At a young age I knew I not only wanted, but I needed to choose a career path where I could devote my time to helping as many people as I possibly can. In the words of someone who has guided me “Help turn someone else’s negative into a positive.” In high school I went through a program that helped me discover the best fit career for me. It would not only allow me to help my community, but it would allow me to help those who need it more than ever.
I came from a middle-class Caucasian family (since my Native family was unstable at the time that I was growing up). I've been interested in helping out people and community's here and there when I have the time to do so. I'm currently in a Pre-Med club that does volunteer work to help people in need. I use any pronouns and I've lived in and around White Center for most of my life.
Over the years, Tam has helped my family with so many things, especially during the pandemic. My husband currently works in a factory. Because of my poor health and English skills, and having to take care of my kids, I am currently not able to work. In my spare time, I learn English on YouTube and cut loose threads from clothing to make a little bit of money here and there. The pandemic has been hard on us financially.
Growing up, my family and I went through many struggles. I did not have many opportunities and had to work to support myself and my family. When we had the chance to be able to do so, my wife, Phuong, and I wanted to start a family business. We wanted something meaningful to our family and community and to support our well-being. When my wife found a newspaper advertisement for Huong Xua Deli, we were immediately inspired to buy the business. We had no reservations.
My name is Romelia, and I live in White Center. I am a single parent with 2 children. I have been living in the Burien/ Whtie Center area for about 6-7 years. Through a program with DSHS, I got connected to the White Center CDA and was an administrative intern there for a couple of months in 2016. When Julia, the Administrative Manager, was on parental leave, I was contracted to support the CDA for another short amount of time.
I grew up in Puebla, Mexico. I came to New Jersey to be with my brothers in 1995. At first, I was going to just stay for 2 years, but I ended up staying longer because I met my husband and started having children. I decided to stay in New Jersey for my kids because of the education and employment opportunities there.
I'm a transgender male, more genderfluid now though, but still prefer they/them pronouns and I live in White Center. I come from a very traditional background where my dad is Vietnamese and doesn't know I'm trans or anything. I've been involved with the CDA's LGBTQ youth programming back in high school and I've lived in White center for over 20 years (currently living in Ellensburg for college).
I am 31 years old. I grew up in High Point and in White Center. I attended Mt. View, Cascade, and Evergreen. I consider myself a wild card. I like to dream big, and I do a lot of random things like forming a collective called VietQ for LGBTQ Vietnamese folks to celebrate and empower one another. One of my passions is education.
For most of my early life, I grew up in White Center. I graduated from Evergreen High School in 2010. After high school, I worked for Community Schools Collaboration at Cascade Middle School. I also worked for the White Center Teen program at the Log Cabin.
White Center has always been a place of community and community leaders. Having grown up and lived in the Dubcee, I have seen the change that gentrification has brought. But I have also seen a lot of the violence that I grew up around in the Dubcee diminishing.