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Jane’s Fellowship Program Where Are They Now: Yvette Donde

In 2004, The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) launched Jane’s Fellowship Program (JFP) to support the leadership development and capacity-building of grassroots leaders in Pierce County. The JFP Graduate Network comprises 115 fellows from 10 classes that have participated in the program, and class 11 is underway. JFP engages leaders who are interested in expanding their skills, broadening their networks, and exchanging perspectives with other local leaders. Recently, TRFF caught up with a few JFP graduates to highlight the diverse group of leaders who have been through the program and where their journey has taken them post-fellowship.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Meet Yvette Donde, a Jane’s Fellowship Class 9 graduate, crisis clinician for kids and teenagers for Catholic Community Services of Western Washington (CCS), and founder of Activos in Motion, the USA nonprofit that aims to activate the Latinx community with weekly meetings for walking, running, or staying active.

What JFP class were you in? Class 9

What city do you live in? Tacoma

What community work are you invested in right now, and what are its intended impacts?
I am invested in improving access to mental health care for the Latinx community, including finding ways to integrate more support for minority communities that support mental health and physical wellness. I run a non-profit that teaches adults how to run properly without getting injured.

Where/who do you get inspiration from to do the work you do?
I get inspiration from the people around me. I work as a crisis clinician for CCS, which is focused on helping kids and teenagers with their mental health. I also have friends who do various types of community work that inspire me.

How has your community work evolved since you participated in the fellowship?
Since taking part in the Fellowship, I have personally grown in recognizing that my community extends beyond the Latinx people to include every person. While diverse, I do maintain Spanish as the primary language spoken in our activities.

What would you tell someone who is interested in applying for the fellowship?
Do it! This experience has opened my eyes to understand all the pockets in my community and how they all intertwine.

How would you describe your experience with JFP using 3 words?
Tribe, empathy, love

Favorite leader:
Everyone in my class is an amazing leader in their community. I don’t know if I could pick one, as I admire different things about each one of them.