Accelerating: Keiko

Last updated: June 27, 2017, at 12:31 p.m. PT

Originally published: June 27, 2017, at 12:22 p.m. PT

Keiko serves on the Seattle Planning Commission through the Accelerator YMCA’s Get Engaged program. This longstanding community program is for young adults ages 18-29 which places them on boards and commissions throughout the City of Seattle.

Keiko learned about the Get Engaged program through an environmental professionals of color networking group. She decided to apply because she “wanted to get more engaged in the political process personally, instead of just listening.”

Through her experience on the Seattle Planning Commission, Keiko has seen how important it is for diverse people, especially people of color, to serve on boards and commissions. She also has learned a lot about herself – she originally thought she would just be there to take it all in, but has found herself participating fully. “I never feel like I am too young to participate. Being on a board or commission is not just for older people, it is for everyone.”

Keiko reflects on her year of service, and offers this advice to future participants: “You only have a year, so make sure you use your time wisely. Dive in and take every opportunity you are presented with. Go to all the meetings, let your voice be heard, even if it is hard for you. Make your time count and learn all that you can. Be really engaged!”