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826 Seattle honored at White House today

Greenwood’s very own 826 Seattle, a non-profit tutoring and writing center inside the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. at 8414 Greenwood Ave. N., was honored at the White House today. 826 Seattle founder Teri Hein and Ballard High School student Meron Kasahun received the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama.

From the press release:

Chosen from a pool of more than 470 nominations and 50 finalists, 826 Seattle was one of 12 after-school and out-of-school programs across the country to receive the award, which is the highest honor such programs can receive in the United States. The awards recognize and support outstanding programs that lay new pathways to creativity, expression, and achievement outside of the regular school day. 826 Seattle was honored for its effectiveness in developing learning and life skills in young people by engaging them through the power of the written word.
Ms. Kasahun is a senior at Ballard High and the daughter of a single Ethiopian immigrant mother. She began attending 826 Seattle’s afterschool programs more than five years ago, and has been a regular at the Greenwood-based nonprofit ever since. Kasahun, 17, has served as a Youth Mentor at 826 Seattle and is currently a member of its Youth Advisory Board. She is also president of the Ballard High Black Student Union, is an active member of Teens Against Tobacco and has been an editor at her school newspaper.
“Having the chance to represent my peers in accepting this award from the First Lady in the White House was an experience that I will never forget,” said Kasahun. “I found my community at 826 Seattle, and I attribute much of my success to the support, mentoring, homework help, and writing classes I have received there. It was amazing to have 826 recognized in such a big way, and I am honored to have represented.”
826 Seattle will be celebrating the news with the community on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 1-3pm in its Greenwood office, as part of the literary launch of its second annual anthology What to Read in the Rain.