Reflecting on 2017: Alaric Bien

Alaric Bien stepped down as Board Chair of Eastside Pathways in December 2017. He reflects on the year gone by.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that 2017 was a wild and crazy year. On the national level, we had the inauguration of a new president – and attendant turmoil in DC, the downfall of numerous men in positions of power, several mass shootings, major protests from all sides, and the list goes on and on.

Fortunately, in our neck of the woods, the news has been a little better. Eastside Pathways has continued being a strong leader in bringing our community together to focus on our children and youth, and what it takes to help them succeed.

This year, much of our effort was focused on equity and infusing racial equity into the work we all do. From hosting Courageous Conversations and this year’s regional summit for the Pacific Educational Group, we helped raise the community’s awareness of the need for racial equity in education and gave our partners some of the tools they need to move the work forward.

We also worked hard to expand our footprint to truly become Eastside Pathways. Working with Lake Washington School District, the Lake Washington Schools Foundation, and the City of Redmond, we are now beginning to broaden the impact our work has to more than twice as many youth and families in our community.

And internally, we have worked to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the backbone board and the Partner Leadership Committee, giving more voice and authority to the partners as we continue growing and evolving as a movement.

It has been an honor serving as chair of the backbone organization’s board this year, and I look forward to continuing to work with our incoming chair, Sue Baugh. I hope that all our partners will reaffirm their commitment to the work and help us make 2018 a year of great progress for each and every one of our Eastside youth.


Warm wishes

Alaric Bien