Category Archives: Leadership Development

Nominate Leaders for the Bold Summer Internship!

We’re looking for a passionate group of 6 young social justice leaders. Do you know any college students or graduating high school seniors that are ready to creative positive community change and develop their leadership? Support them and let us know why below.

Bold Summer Internship Program:
Now Accepting Applications for 2017

Join 21 Progress this summer to learn about social justice education and leadership, impact your community, and meet amazing activists and mentors! The Bold Summer Internship Program allows college students to engage in nonprofit work in the social justice field while making impactful community change. All positions include a stipend and fun perks!

Bold Summer is a fun, innovative, and hands-on internship for passionate and skilled people who are eager to take on challenges and make a lasting difference in their community. We want to share our favorite tools and lessons with people in the community who are exploring their own purpose—both professionally and personally.

Are there any young people in your life who would be interested in applying? Nominate them here!

21 Progress Bold Summer Internship Program

Program Dates: June 26, 2017 – September 1, 2017

Hours: 30-40 hours per week

Application Deadline: The application process is split into two deadlines to provide flexibility and opportunity for interested applicants.

People who submit their application on or before the early deadline are able to receive an internship offer at an earlier date than those who apply after. However, there is no differential consideration for between applicants based on whether they submit their application on March 5 (early deadline) or March 24 (regular deadline).

Early Deadline: March 5, 2017

Regular Deadline: April 2, 2017

To Apply: Complete our online application:

Compensation: Stipend of $1750 is provided.

Perks: Amazing meals (snacks and potluck lunch every other a week), guest speakers, themed work days, and more!

Candidate Profile:

  • Passionate about social justice, all majors welcomed
  • Highly motivated self-starter
  • Ability to problem solve and work independently
  • Strong online, written, and verbal communication skills
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite and social media
  • Must be at least 18 years old


  • Participate in a team-building, social justice leadership retreat to become oriented with the 21 Progress mission, community, and your Bold Summer cohort
  • Engage in personalized leadership development and intentional mentorship with our staff and community members
  • Collaborate with other Bold Summer Interns to execute community action projects that serve communities of color and immigrant youth—especially working people and the undocumented community.
  • Manage events, workshops, and/or campaigns for professionals and community members that are rooted in passion and purpose
  • Support staff with outreach, strategy, and implementation for programs and services


  • Your strengths as a leader, while working with a hands-on and passionate staff person (Check out 21P’s amazing team here!)
  • How you can personally develop as a social justice activist, within an expansive network of activists and movement builders
  • New hard skills that align with social justice nonprofit work, via first-hand experience working with professionals & clients and tasks that meet your own goals for professional development

Complete & submit the intern application form using the link below. No resume or cover letter required.
Internship positions are competitive. Undergraduates, graduate students and graduating high school senior activists are encouraged to apply early. All applications must be received by April 2, 2017.

Apply online:

Meet our Bold Summer Alumni
Learn what a few past Bold Interns have worked on during their summer at 21 Progress below.
Read full bios for Bold Summer 2016 here.

Allison Masangkay – Bold Summer 2016

Current 21 Progress Creative Project Associate and UW-Seattle Student

In collaboration with several media outlets across Seattle & the International District, Losa (another Bold Summer 2016 Intern) and I created “ImaginAction”—a series of workshops that connected lessons from WWII Japanese-American “internment” camps to anti-Muslim and refugee sentiment to encourage solidarity among diverse young people in King County. While I’d facilitated workshops before, never had I gone into such deep research to create relevant social justice-based curriculum, pitch our workshop to numerous community organizations, and present our workshop to facilitate learning experiences—both for myself and the youth workshop participants—that translated into action plans for positive community change. While some steps of the process genuinely left me exhausted and lost, some of biggest moment of growth came from the guidance of my supervisor and shared tools among the rest of the Bold Summer Interns working alongside me.
[IMAGE CAPTION: A queer femme Filipino-American woman with long hair wears a multicolored-stripe button-up shirt & black satin bomber jacket and laughs with eyes closed while leaning against a chain link fence.]

Michel Baños – Bold Summer 2016

Current 21 Progress Program Assistant and UW-Seattle Student

My time and energy as a Bold Intern was devoted to our Build Your Dream (BYD) Program. BYD is a program that specifically works with our undocumented communities in a variety of ways through workshops, healing activities, art, outreach, and dialogue. On the day to day, I would likely be meeting with families one on one, facilitating a workshop, attending an outreach event, answering phone calls, or working on new curriculum. Admittedly, the job was hard at times, but I reflect back at them now as moments of growth. It was those moments of confusion and challenge, that gave way for a learning opportunity, one that I could ask my mentors for support in. In my time at 21 Progress, I have learned a lot, but most importantly I have learned about how I want to show up for my communities in this work.
[IMAGE CAPTIONS: In left image, three undocumented 21 Progress staff members smile & pose side by side, wearing shirts that say “Undocumented Unafraid Unapologetic,” “Washington Dream Coalition,” and “United We Dream: Undocumented and HERE TO STAY!” respectively. In right image, a 21 Progress volunteer and Michel sit together while tabling at a conference, both wearing their orange 21 Progress t-shirts.]

About 21 Progress
21 PROGRESS runs programs and campaigns that empower leaders among the hard working people of Washington and advances bold ideas for economic and social justice. 21 Progress serves youth and young adults of color, and many who identify as undocumented or immigrant workers and/or students. If you’re interested in learning more about internship or volunteer opportunities, contact 21 Progress at or (206) 829-8382.

#GivingTuesday at 21 Progress: #21PStories

On Tuesday, November 29, 21 Progress will celebrate our inaugural #GivingTuesdaya global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

At 21 Progress, we believe that storytelling has the power to change lives. They validate our experiences, inspire new ideas, and provoke bold actions among community leaders. That’s why we’ve started #21PStories, a campaign to collect stories that demonstrate how people Love, Protect, and Organize their communities through leadership for social change. Leading up to #GivingTuesday, we’ll be sharing stories from 21 Progress staff, interns, volunteers, and program participants.

Our goal is to collect and share 25 new stories form our community. For our first ever #GivingTuesday, you’re invited to match our 25 new stories with 25 new monthly donors. We will continue reminding you of this opportunity to support leadership development among diverse young people. If you would like to give now, the 21 Progress donation page can be found here:

Monthly donors that contribute on #GivingTuesday will also be entered in a drawing for a special giveaway, including two lift passes for Stevens Pass Mountain Resort, lunch with the 21 Progress staff, 21 Progress shirts & stickers, and more! Our social media followers who engage with our #21PStories posts (via likes, comments, and shares) will also be entered in our drawing. Prize winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 30, 2016.

Attention Students: We Are Looking for a Work Study Intern!

Are you a work study eligible student?
Are you interested in developing programs for youth of color?
Are you passionate about social justice and equity for all?

If yes, apply for a 21 Progress work study position today.

{21 Progress Volunteers}

About 21 Progress:

21 Progress seeks to foster the talented leadership of youth of color in our community while providing living wage jobs. Through popular education, civic engagement and arts & culture, 21 Progress assists emerging leaders – especially young adults and immigrants – to claim their place in building a more just society and reaching their dream. Be apart of our young diverse team of passionate activist and change leaders today.

21 Progress takes a progressive stance in an effort to dismantle traditionally harmful non-profit practices. We aim to give all of our interns a collaborative experience that they find valuable, and provide opportunities for education, not just service.

Learn more about 21 Progress or meet our staff here.

Intern Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work directly with the Director of Programs to strengthen current programs and develop new ones
  • Think critically to conceptualize and implement project plans
  • Work with a team to actively build exciting and innovative programs
  • Facilitate, organize, and run workshops and related programs
  • Support administrative and logistical needs
  • Research available programs and resources to build knowledge and understanding
  • Support 21 Progress staff as needed

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Eligible for work study
  • Has experience or is passionate about serving diverse communities and multi-cultural liberation
  • Interested in social justice, enjoys learning about, building deep consciousness, and engaging in conversations around contemporary social justice issues
  • Able to take direction quickly and effectively; works well with minimal instruction, can execute on the go, and meets deadlines
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Proficient in Office Suite: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.

Educational Benefits:

  • Gain hands on experience and contribute to the progressive social justice movement
  • Gain project management and collaboration experience and with activist, students, and community organizers
  • Work and learn directly from passionate young professionals who are committed to your development
  • Meet other passionate, young volunteers and professionals
  • Monthly potlucks, lunch and learns, and other leadership development opportunities

Compensation: $12-$13/hour

Application Deadline: Monday November 28th, 2016

How to Apply: Submit your resume & cover letter to Marissa Vichayapai (



The Benefits of Youth Leadership Development

Have you ever wondered what makes leadership development so important for young people? Research shows that honing your leadership skills is good for you and for your community.


  • Improved communication skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Greater capacity for goal achievement
  • Increased initiative and responsibility
  • Greater sense of belonging


  • Improved public speaking skills
  • Greater ability to work in a team
  • Awareness of self
  • Project management skills
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Sense of connectedness to one’s community


Leadership programs designed for women, immigrants, and/or people of color provide the same benefits as those designed for young people in general, but with attention to the specific needs of each community.

  • Provide a safe space in which people of color can examine their own experience and avoid having others tokenize their experiences and to create effective multiracial coalitions for addressing ineffective policies and practices.
  • Provide access to skills that facilitate participation of people of color at policy tables, to which they can bring a racial impact analysis, as well as access to planning, decision- making, and evaluation tools related to promoting racial justice outcomes.
  • Provide strategies that connect people who have been marginalized to existing networks while building new networks for mentoring, intergenerational partnership, information exchange, and access to resources.
  • Refine the participants’ skills in group leadership, outreach, public speaking, and work with the media so that their communities will be more effective at communicating their ideas and concerns. ƒ

If you’re interested in joining a leadership development program with 21 Progress or supporting others who are developing leadership skills to better their communities, read about our Build Your Dream program here or consider a donation here.


Suzanne M. Bean, Nurturing Leadership in Middle and High School Students

Texas State University, Benefits of Youth Leadership

Leadership & Race, July 2010, How to Develop and Support Leadership that Contributes to Racial Justice

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee service with Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Inspiring Leadership in Immigrant Communities

BOLD Interns Partner with WILD Project/Interim

By Sara Salazar

As part of the BOLD Leader internship program, Tilboon and I teamed up with Interim’s Wilderness Inner City Leadership Development (WILD) program to teach youth about storytelling, data collection, interviewing and facilitation. The goal of the WILD program was to collect data on the air quality and environmental impacts within the International District. Our role with the program was to teach twelve diverse high school students from across King County the power of collecting personal stories in order to understand the impact air quality has had on the International District.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.41.51 AM

Over the course of three workshops we provided youth with hands-on lessons on storytelling, interviewing and how to present to a panel. We taught the importance of “Story of Self, Us and Now” which allowed students to discuss an experience where they had to find a resolve to conflict in their lives. This process inspired us to connect with the stories of conflict from community members in their interviews

After learning the storytelling process and learning how to interview, we set out to collect personal stories of community members. One participant included Liana, a long time community member of the International District, who explained how the air quality has gotten much worse due to the influx of cars through the I-5 highway overpass. Not only did the youth get a chance to collect the qualitative stories but worked with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to collect quantitative data of carbon emissions in the ID.

At the end of the program students presented their findings to a panel of community activists, government officials, journalists and teachers to brainstorm feasible and simple solutions to heighten awareness and aid the community within the International District in creating more green spaces and reducing the amount of air pollution.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.42.01 AM

As students experienced the workshop they became more aware of the significance and the power of data to support learning and growth. The youth became much more comfortable sharing their experiences in larger groups and presenting information to their peers. It was inspiring to see them develop a community through our project.

This then gave the youth a chance to create a dialogue with the panelists to brainstorm simple solutions to keep the natural environment in the International District sustained and healthy.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.42.08 AM

Tilboon Elberier is a rising senior TIPS intern and 21 Progress BOLD intern. He’s an awesome soccer player, math whiz, and is committed to serving the community.

Sara Salazar is a current graduate of Hampshire College and a 21 Progress BOLD intern. She loves being surrounded by activists, nature, and critical thinkers.

Collaborating Organizations:
International Examiner
Got Green
21 Progress

Seven Leaders for Equity and Justice – Imagine Us

{Imagine Us Awardee}

“For the Imagine Us Award winners, we asked for nominations in the community of young equity and justice leaders between the ages of 15 and 35 years old who had performed acts of leadership that led to direct benefits for individuals and communities. We received 27 nominations for 16 candidates. Even though it was our first year, we received outstanding nominations of leadership from the sectors of education, environmental justice, labor and worker rights, housing access, and immigrant reform. These leaders were all “everyday leaders” making impact from direct access for individuals to statewide policy. From the list of 16, the selection committee narrowed the list to 7 winners, representing a tapestry of leadership across our communities.” -Imagine Us Awards chair, Susie Wu

The awardees:

{Ariana}Ariana Davis – It’s difficult to imagine that someone as young as Ariana Davis has accomplished so much in such a short period of time. This young labor activist’s vision is to build a powerful member-based union. As a mere 26 years old, Ariana is the youngest female executive board member serving United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21. Ariana has worked at Safeway since she was 16 years old, and is a dynamic leader and spokesperson for workers rights. On the ground, Ariana signed up over 400 members to Local 21’s active ballot club and gathered thousands of signatures for initiative 1433. She has organized grocery workers at Safeway and Albertson’s in Oregon, and worked on paid sick leave and minimum wage campaigns in Bellingham and Tacoma. As if that weren’t enough, Ariana has trained union members how to tell their stories to elected officials and the public, and run community forums, informational pickets, and rallies. She is also currently going through her first bargaining session as a lead spokesperson.

{Edi}Edi Flores – Edi Flores is a young man who is passionate about serving the Latino community. He has 14 years of direct social service experience at Lifewire, Bellevue LifeSpring, and currently,  Jubilee REACH, a Christian-based nonprofit partnering with Bellevue School District. Edi works tirelessly as a bilingual domestic violence child and youth advocate. Edi joined 21 Progress after learning that one of his families needed support with their DACA application. Rather than passing along information, Edi attended the Success After DACA program to educate himself and has now taken the lead at 21 Progress in reaching out to as many families as he can. His positive energy and willingness to help others are contagious, and he talks openly about his own life and the barriers he’s had to overcome, in order to encourage others not to be afraid to claim their rights. In his own words, Edi states, “As a DACA-mented young adult I have learn to be bold. I have to serve as a role model, sharing my personal experience with other undocumented students who find themselves in a similar situation. My hope is for 1079 students to continue leading with courage.”

{Amy}Amy Kele – Amy Kele inspires us because of her spirit of leadership and perseverance at such a young age and with such responsibilities. She was born in the Fiji Islands and moved to Washington State when she was four years old. Amy grew up in a mixed-immigration-status family,  within a community where opportunity was scarce, and gang violence was right outside her door. Separated from her parents for over seven years, Amy helped raise her three younger siblings and supported her elderly grandmother. Amy overcame great odds and at 19 years old, Amy currently attends the University of Washington, Bothell, being the first in her family to attend college. She is seeking an undergraduate degree in Biology and is a student advisor for incoming freshman and active member of a social justice student group.

This past year, Amy went on a 100 Women 100 Miles Pilgrimage to raise awareness for immigration reform. Upon returning,  Amy has organized one-mile marches around the Everett community to keep the discussion of reform alive. Like Edi,  Amy has taken that great leap of courage to share her own personal experiences to encourage others like her to access support in the DACA application process. Her ongoing and consistent work and dedication and commitment to her community is what inspired this award.

{Samantha}Samantha Keller – One of the descriptions that stood out to us on the Awards Committee was this statement about Samantha from her nominator: “Sam is an amazing leader – the kind of leader that does an incredible amount of work, but so rarely gets publicly recognized for all she has done to support workers and people of color.” As the program director at the Fair Work Center, Sam coordinates the Fair Work Collaborative, which conducts outreach and education on labor standards in Seattle. She is a strong community organizer who built intentional relationships with South Park and Georgetown residents in a study on of diesel exhaust pollution. Because these residents had previously experienced shoddy processes and reporting from other research agencies, Sam persisted in centering this study on the their needs and concerns. Her work resulted in a successful collaboration between citizens and researchers. Sam’s colleague at Puget Sound Sage describes Sam as a young leader who “is not afraid to challenge and speak up when inequity has been missed and is also able to hear and dialogue with differing opinions.” According to her colleague, it is Sam’s humbleness and humor which allow her to keep her activism fresh and energized.

{Saraswati}Saraswati Noel – Saraswati Noel is a math teacher at Seattle World School, which is a 100% ELL school for newly arrived immigrants, and which annually graduates students who have been in the country less than 3 years. Her nominator writes, “Saraswati is innovative with her curriculum, because she takes a subject matter that is oftentimes not seen as applicable to real life, let alone social justice and racial justice, and shows them how to apply mathematics in these contexts.” For example, after Seattle World School had been passed over repeatedly by the school district for a new building, Saraswati showed her students how math can be used to advance social justice in their lives. Under her guidance,  students designed math problems to investigate and show the added amount of travel time an average Seattle World Student took to get to their school. The students then presented these findings to the district.  As a result of their efforts, Seattle World School will now be moving into a building specially tailored to their needs. Her principal credits Saraswati with the growing leadership developing among her students: “Our ASB presidents who are Winners for Life winners both noted Ms. Noel as the one teacher influential to them.”

{Carlos}Carlos Willcuts – Carlos Willcuts is one of the Area Directors for Jubilee REACH in Bellevue, and in this role has touched countless lives of the students and families at the schools in which he has worked. Carlos’ 12 nominations nearly overwhelmed the Awards Committee.  Rather than summarize his contributions, it is more powerful for me to quote an excerpt from one of his nominators who spoke so deeply about Carlos’ impact on his life: “The thing that has inspired me to nominate Carlos for this award is the way he does things for others. His devotion for the greater good of others is what has gotten him so loved by everyone. When I was in Middle School and just got to this country,  about 6 years ago I really struggled with self-esteem and tried to fit in with a crowd of kids to not feel lonely.  And because I wanted to fit in with them I ended up misbehaving in school. This cycle continued and I kept feeling lonelier and not comfortable. It was because I didn’t have that role model to seek help with these problems. I felt desperate so I stayed in silence and I could not voice out my concerns to anybody. When Carlos showed up because of his constant pursuit, I was able to trust in him and tell him what I was going through. He helped me realize that being myself and being happy are more important than trying to impress or belong to a group of people.” This story is just one example of the first of many and different stories and impacts that Carlos has done in this community.

Brady Huang
– Brady is the inaugural Maeda Award winner. He is a social justice activist focused on genderism, racism and accessibility issues, an artist studying ethical leadership, and a peacemaker. Brady, a scholarship recipient at the Bush School, has led efforts to make the school more accessible for all. While on tour of a historic neighborhood in Washington DC, he saw gentrification and displacement of a century-old African American community. He brought that learning back and was co-instructor of a leadership workshop, “What’s Good in the Hood? Understanding the Roots of Gentrification in Seattle and Beyond.” Brady received a $500 monetary award to use towards any of his many projects.

Congratulations to all our Imagine Us awardees!

Imagine Us 2016, A Celebration of Young Leaders

{Imagine Us}

On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, 200 individuals committed to justice and leadership met at Mount Baker Community Club in Seattle to celebrate emergent leaders working toward equity and justice in the Seattle-Puget Sound area.

{Imagine Us Audience}The event was hosted by Joaquin Uy. He is the Ethnic Media and Communications Specialist for the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and also serves as a campaigns advisor for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of Bayan, a global grassroots Filipino American coalition.

{Joaquin Uy}The guests enjoyed several performances from local artists. The event opened with the original song “Take My Hand” written by Chloe Copoloff and performed by Gigi Huang, Kira Baker, Shreyas Raman, and Tye Ellis. Other performances punctuating the events of the evening included Mexican folk dancing by Luis Garcia and Breanna Hernández of Bailadores de Bronce, B-Girl Anna Banana Freeze from the Massive Monkees, and West African Drumming by Afua Kouyaté and Aboubacar “Boka” Kouyaté.

{Mexican Folk Dancers}

{African Drum Performance}Keeping with the spirit of celebrating the Seattle social justice community as family, dinner was served family-style with food prepared by our latino community and family members, Bangkok Basil, Thai Curry Simple, and Kusina Filipina.

{Setting Food on Table}We presented seven awards, including the inaugural Maeda Award, named in honor of Sharon Maeda, community activist and 21 Progress’ first executive director. Our 2016 awardees are Ariana Davis, worker’s rights advocate; Edi Flores, youth advocate; Amy Kele, student advocate; Sam Keller, worker’s advocate; Carlos Willcuts, youth and family advocate, and our Maeda Award winner Brady Huang, peace activist. To learn more about all these phenomenal leaders, please read this post.

{Brady Huang}The event was made possible by the support of many members of the community, including the following sponsors:

Community Builders:
Ellen Ferguson

Burien Dental
Slevin & Hart, P.C.
UFCW 21 – the founders of 21 Progress

Cheiron Inc.
EJK Accounting
Sunrise Dental
Union Bank
Washington State Labor Council

Puget Sound Sage
Woodburn Company
Anne Stadler
Josephine T. Murray

To join us for this year’s Imagine Us! on April 13,  2017, purchase tickets here: 

For more personal stories and to hear how 21 Progress’ programs develop skills in leaders, watch the following video featured at Imagine Us.

Deadline Extension for Seattle2Selma!

The deadline for applying for the Seattle2Selma pilgrimage has been extended until Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at midnight!

Seattle2Selma is a youth-centered Civil Rights Pilgrimage offering an intensive and experiential leadership development opportunity for high school and college students with an interest in making positive changes.

Students will be immersed in the historic Civil Rights Movement, starting with a series of 6 preparatory meetings in June and July, then journeying across the Deep American South over the course of 6 days in August 2016.

Students can expect to be both personally and mentally challenged, as they are forced to critically examine social concepts, reflect on personal beliefs, and analyze how history has shaped contemporary issues.

Through personal drive, intentionality, analysis, and reflection, students return home with:

  • Exceptional leadership skills and experience
  • Bold vision for future self and community, while honoring the past
  • Belief in power of the people and themselves
  • Cultivation of social responsibility and commitment to civic engagement through action
  • Expanded community of beloved support

Seattle2Selma is a program of 21 Progress with the partnership and support of the Pilgrimage Project. The Seattle2Selma program covers the cost of roundtrip airfare from Seattle, bus touring, and meals.

To Apply

Apply online here or request a paper application by emailing Complete and submit your application no later than Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at midnight. Applicants will be notified of a decision by May 16, 2016.

It Isn’t Too Late – Apply for the Summer Internship Program Before April 17th

21 Progress is offering summer internship positions to 3-4 college students who are passionate about social justice. Click here to apply!

Our Summer Internship program provides a valuable opportunity for aspiring leaders to gain the skills necessary for working in a social justice nonprofit. Interns will be immersed in a 10-week course that includes one-on-one mentorship, in-office professional learning opportunities, and hands-on community engagement in the field.

The internship is supported by a Leadership Development stipend of $1,500, and includes cool perks like public transit reimbursement, free breakfast, potluck lunches, and more.

Proof of citizenship is not required. Applicants must be currently enrolled at a college, university, community college, or technical school, and have completed at least one semester (or equivalent) of study to be eligible.

Please complete the online application form and attach a cover letter and resume. The best candidates will be selected as applications are reviewed, so please apply as soon as possible.