The White Salmon Academy: The White Salmon Academy is an option for students who need a high school setting that allows flexibility and a viable pathway to obtain a Washington State high school diploma. Students must earn 20 credits, pass the required state exams, and prepare a culminating project in order to graduate. Although this diploma will not open the doors to a four-year university or college, students are eligible for two-year schools, technical programs, and the military. CultureSeed is starting our second year in contract with the White Salmon Valley School District to provide mental health counseling and community resource referrals to the White Salmon Academy two days a week. We serve approximately 22 students a day and 50 a year based on early graduations. CultureSeed’s bilingual Behavioral Health Specialist is available to support chronically truant students by door knocking and getting to the root of long unaddressed barriers to coming to school including cultural, economic and mental health barriers. White Salmon Academy students have been recruited to other CultureSeed initiatives they can benefit from.
Columbia Gorge Latinx Youth Summit: CultureSeed facilitates forums and experiences to energize positive change, and create consistent opportunities to listen, plan and act alongside our region’s underserved youth. Because of a large regional Latinx demographic, CultureSeed collaborates with community partners to create the Columbia Gorge Latinx Youth Summit. This is an opportunity for Latinx youth to be seen and heard, and name their barriers to thriving. The Latinx Youth Summit is a regional conversation on identity and place, addressing Latinx youth sense of belonging, and self care.
Alternative to Incarceration: Youth going through the juvenile justice system in Klickitat County have the option of attending CultureSeed’s programming in lieu of being mandated nights at Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility’s Juvenile Hall. CultureSeed can also offer youth hours towards community service if they are on probation. This is a partnership between Klickitat Juvenile Probation and White Salmon Alternative School to increase school participation, mental health resources, internship opportunities and family resources.
Peer Circles: CultureSeed has partnered with local facilitator and volunteer Erik Larson, trained through ManKind Project, to offer monthly young men’s circles. Kika Kielpinska offers monthly young women’s circle and was trained through the School of Lost Borders. These peer circles allow youth to tap into emotional content in a safe and contained space. Facilitators are also invited to join youth during seasonal overnights to create these familiar circles.