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

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has asked for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-run cases in the state.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Woman confronts man leaving house with stolen item

“He swung at her with a crowbar, missing her.”

Police seek suspect in Wells Fargo bank robbery

He was described as white, in his 30s, heavyset, with blonde hair and a maroon sweatshirt.

Possible bobcat sighting keeps Snohomish students inside

The creature was spotted on the campus of Valley View Middle School around noon.

Most Read