You sent the Fun Factory rolling into parks

YWCA van takes games, library books, crafts to underserved neighborhoods in the Walla Walla Valley

This summer’s Fun Factory team touched the lives of more than 2,500 children all over the Walla Walla Valley. The team was especially excited about visiting Dayton, where no other summer park activities were offered, and the VA grounds, where formerly homeless veterans now live with their families.

“While I’ve loved all our teams, I have to say this Fun Factory group was one of the very best,” said Executive Director Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin.

Caleb Carter is a Walla Walla University senior majoring in education and Spanish. His goal is to be a bilingual elementary teacher. He was in Argentina all last year and comes to us with great experience working in summer programs at Broetje Orchards, Valle Lindo, and with preschoolers in a childcare center.

Chantell Lopez is a Whitman College grad who is currently working with Americorps and ETHOS in Madras, Ore., as a music teacher. ETHOS is an organization that brings music to children in underserved areas. She is the music teacher for an elementary school of 420 children. (Fall 2018 update: Chantell is teaching K-5 music right here in Walla Walla for Blue Ridge Elementary, where she has spotted a couple of Fun Factory kids!)

Hannah Siepmann just finished her first year at Whitman. She is a Mariposa leader, helping with our summer Mariposa group at Edison, and with Fun Factory the rest of the time. She’ll continue to lead Mariposa this fall.

Finally, meet Daphne Gallegos. She will be a Whitman College senior this fall majoring in French and biology. Just back from a semester in France, Daphne was awarded a Newman Fellowship. This national award honors inspiring college student leaders who have invested in finding solutions for community challenges all over the U.S. Newman Civic Fellows make the most of their college experiences to better understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change. Also a Bill Gates Scholar, Daphne grew up in Pasco and has been a YWCA volunteer for three years.

Pictured in the Fun Factory van, from  left: Hannah, Chantell, Caleb,  Daphne