2022 Grant Champions & Their Causes

The Winner of Our 2022 First Place Grant in the amount of $151,500 is…

About Summit Community Center
Scheduled to open in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in December of 2022, The Summit Community Center will address the immense lack of services and support available to neurodivergent young adults exiting the school system.  The  newly-built, 8800 square foot facility will be a space for young adults aged 18-29 (initially) with intellectual and developmental disabilities to recreate, socialize and connect with their community in a supportive environment that facilitates autonomy, independence, and true engagement.  Using a drop-in membership model that offers schedule flexibility, the Center will offer programming to its members across four core pillars: Education, Recreation, Community, and Growth.  The creation of the SCC Member Advisory Board will help direct its programming decisions and will always keep the members’ interests and ideas at the forefront.  In addition to offering leadership opportunities to members for many of the Center’s functions and activities, the Center will also operate several revenue-generating businesses, either within the center or in the local community through partnerships to provide quality job training and work experience.  SCC will be a home-away-from-home in which the neurodivergent young adult can develop a sense of place, true community, friendship, connection and independence.
PYP Grant Champion for Summit Community Center: Aly Burks
Aly is originally from Portola Valley, CA and grew up in New Canaan, CT. As an adult, she has lived in New York City, Washington DC and moved to the Seattle area in 2008. She currently lives in Mercer Island, WA with her husband and four children. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in Psychology and a minor in French. After roles in finance and sales for JPMorgan Chase and The Estée Lauder Companies, she began ARB Real Estate Services, a rental real estate investment and management company from 2009-2021. She recently began a new professional chapter, operating and managing investments for a private family financial office company, The Ryder Family Office, LLC. On the volunteer side, apart from Pitch Your Peers, she is active in her local community, serving on the Mercer Island School District’s PTA Council, the District’s Instructional Materials Committee, Lakeridge Elementary’s Principal Advisory Council, and as a 7th Grade Advisor for National Charity League. Aly also enjoys singing — she performs around the area as a member of the rock cover band, MIMX, and the vocals/keys duo, The Small Bandits. You can find her around town walking Jack the Big Yellow Dog, taxiing her children and adventuring with her family.

The Winner of Our 2022 Second Place Grant in the amount of $67,750 is…

About Alimentando al Pueblo
Alimentando al Pueblo (AAP) was founded, created and is led by the very Community it serves – Latinx Community members of the Highline Service area. Founded in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Latinx populations in South King County, Alimentando al Pueblo promotes healing through food, Community and celebrations. For the past two years, AAP has been transforming the ways in which Latinx Community access basic services – we created and innovated at a time where crisis was increasing at a global scale. We saw a need, stepped up and into not just delivery of culturally relevant foods to our Community but also provide a space for joy and validation of struggles being amplified. AAP houses the only Latinx food bank in the country.
PYP Grant Champion for Alimentando al Pueblo: Jasmine Sears
Jasmine Soria Sears grew up in Beaverton, Oregon. After receiving a B.S. in English from Caltech and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona, Jasmine returned to the Pacific Northwest to work on Augmented and Virtual Reality at Facebook, now Meta. She is an inventor on more than twenty granted patents, including one invention that combines two of her passions: candy-making and science. Jasmine enjoys speaking with students about her research and career, and is currently Treasurer for the Burien nonprofit Para Los Niños.

The Winner of Our 2022 Third Place Grant in the amount of $23,350 is…

About The Seattle Aquarium
At the Seattle Aquarium, our mission is Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment. With the health of the ocean and our planet at stake, the Seattle Aquarium is the largest marine science education platform in the Pacific Northwest and is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in ocean conservation efforts in our region and globally. Our new space currently under construction, the Ocean Pavilion, will significantly expand our capacity to engage people in robust educational exhibits, hands-on learning opportunities, inquiry-based classes and scientific research. Only an aquarium can provide face-to-face, enriching experiences with marine life that are essential to building empathy and an ethos of care for our ocean. In addition to our annual visitors, 43,000 students in 500 schools and 200 school districts participated in conservation education programs at the Seattle Aquarium in 2020.  From helping pass legislation that reduces ocean plastics and promotes sustainable fisheries to partnering with local organizations to reduce the environmental impact on communities of color, we play an active role in the broader system that shapes our environment. We have played a part in key legislative victories that protect our local endangered orcas and other iconic Pacific Northwest species; and we are an active participant in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s 30×30 campaign to protect at least 30% of the world’s lands and waters by 2030. A PYP grant to support the Seattle Aquariums’ conservation and education programs would help inspire all our visitors to be advocates for our irreplaceable ocean.
PYP Grant Champion for The Seattle Aquarium: Stephanie Kornblum
Stephanie is the proud mom of three children and lives on Mercer Island with her husband, Aaron Kornblum. She is self-employed and provides advertising law and various other legal services to Microsoft clients. Formerly, Stephanie was an attorney in Microsoft’s legal and corporate affairs department, advising clients on advertising law issues and reviewing Microsoft’s advertising and marketing. Prior to joining Microsoft, Stephanie litigated with Perkins Coie in Seattle focusing on antitrust, intellectual property and business litigation. Before entering the legal profession, Stephanie worked as an advertising account executive with the Leo Burnett Company in Chicago, served as the marketing manager for Cheyenne Frontier Days (The World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo and Western Celebration!), and worked for U.S. State Department’s diplomatic mission at the American Consulate in Adana, Turkey. Stephanie is the President of the Mercer Island High School PTSA and has been a member of the Seattle Aquarium Board of the Directors since 2010. She currently serves on the Aquarium Board’s Executive Committee, Governance and Nominating Committee, Facilities Committee, and is Co-Chair of the Advancement Committee. Stephanie also serves on the Gala Committee for the Seattle Celebrity Waiter’s non-profit organization, benefitting charities like the Millionair Club and the Seattle Police Foundation. A lifelong fan of marine life, Stephanie spent three years as a marine mammal volunteer at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and is also a certified scuba diver. She and her family love to ski, hike, boat, and spend time with the family’s’ two dogs and two cats. Stephanie graduated from Princeton University with a degree in religion and Russian Studies, and earned her J.D. at Seattle University School of Law.