Everett High’s Young Life turns 50

EVERETT — The Young Life chapter at Everett High School is turning 50 this year.

The faith group counts about 50 active members at the high school. Activities are centered around games, music and talking about life and Christianity.

Young Life aims to be a safe place for young people, with mentors, leadership opportunities and summer camps, said Justin Schaeffer, a local volunteer leader.

The chapter celebrated its 50th anniversary with a party a few weeks ago at the Everett Yacht Club. About 80 people attended, from all the generations involved, Schaeffer said.

They played music, sang songs and performed traditional Young Life skits, he said.

“Then we shared memories from people who had led in the past or just had really fond memories of their leaders,” he said.

One attendee was Peter Jensen, 79, a local Young Life founder and retired teacher.

Jensen was a Young Life leader for nearly 20 years.

His work with Young Life was one of the most important times in his life, he said.

“We just felt like kids really ought to have a chance to take a look at the Christian faith,” he said.

The group had a rocky start and took a while to grow, he said. Programs blossomed. Everyone had fun.

“We really formed a friendship, and once we got together as a group, there was a real love for each other, and that sort of thing you don’t get rid of,” he said. “You don’t just graduate from that.”

The summer camps made memories, too.

“We had a lot of conversations about what life was all about,” Jensen said. “You get a chance to get a week away from your normal life and just think about what life is all about out, from a Christian perspective.”

The same is true now, said Schaeffer, 26.

“My Christian faith started with Young Life in high school, and I just kind of fell in love with the way Young Life interacts with people and presents the gospel and has a good time and really focuses on, I think, the important things in life,” he said.

Young Life is a good resource for kids who don’t come from religious families or who are struggling in life, Schaeffer said.

High school isn’t always a kind place, he said. Young Life lets kids explore faith without it being forced on them.

Jeff Huber, of Everett, is the area director of Young Life for west Snohomish County, including Everett, Mill Creek and Mukilteo.

The 50th anniversary marked 50 years of Young Life adults investing into teenagers’ futures, he said.

Kids need hope, he said. They find it in Young Life.

“The influences in high school are just don’t think about stuff, just have fun, just drink, just smoke, just live for yourself, live while you’re young, and that’s not what a mature adult mentor says,” he said. “They say there’s a greater purpose to life, there’s a God who loves you and a purpose you have and don’t waste it.”

The Everett High School club meets weekly at Trinity Lutheran College along Wetmore Avenue downtown.

Each meeting starts with about 45 minutes of games and activities. The last 15 minutes are for talking about the Bible, who Jesus was and the Christian faith.

For more information about the west Snohomish County chapter of Young Life, call 425-407-8218 or go to westsnoco.younglife.org. Volunteering opportunities are available. Donation needs vary by season.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Man shot dead after argument at bar south of Everett

Police say an employee of the bar shot and killed the man, who had opened fire in the parking lot.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

They check tickets, help riders, sometimes get screamed at

13 sheriff’s deputies (so far) patrol Community Transit’s fleet of nearly 300 buses.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Alaska Airlines to announce Paine Field destinations Tuesday

The Snohomish County airport’s passenger terminal is slated to see flights this fall.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Community Health Center opening its seventh clinic

The nonprofit is dedicated to providing care for low-income and uninsured patients.

More help is coming for homeless addicts

The county plans to repurpose its former work release building in for use as a diversion center.

Most Read