by Maddie Olson
I am so excited to join the Funhouse Commons team as the Youth Development Program Director this fall.
I’ve spent the last six years on Orcas working with youth in all kinds of roles and capacities. As a transplant from Colorado, I found Orcas through my time at Camp Orkila, where I worked with teenagers as a kayak guide and Outdoor Educator.
I then spent three years as the assistant teacher at our Montessori preschool, and then followed the students “to the big school” where I spent the last two years serving as the School Librarian. In that role, I was able to serve as the Gender and Sexuality Alliance club advisor, and combined my passion for LGBTQIA+ advocacy and youth support.
My time on Orcas has also been marked by my involvement in community theater and by the inception of Orcas Pride. I’m always looking for opportunities to connect our community in authentic, meaningful and enjoyable ways.
As the Youth Development Program Director, I look forward to responding to the needs (and wants!) of our island’s middle and high school students. I’ll be building out some pre-existing programs and will be collaborating with community partners like the schools, the public library, Orcas Pride and the GSA to fill the gaps in service for teens on this island.
There is so much potential in this position to engage youth in ways that increase autonomy, connection and agency, and I’m excited to see how it all evolves.