Pedro was brought to Okanogan County in 1983 from Oaxaca, Mexico at nine years old. He and his family worked in the apple orchards in the Okanogan valley. Thanks to some good folks in the Omak school district, he quickly adjusted to the climate, the culture, and the language. He became a father at age 18 and chose to work and support his new family, which came with many challenges. Adversity is something that Pedro has had to accept and overcome in his years of growing and learning on how to succeed in his diverse community. Pedro has 29 years of selling experience in the automotive industry. He has operated as a sales consultant, operator/owner, general manager. Growing up in Omak he is passionate about his community and has a vision for unity and one day celebrating the rich diversity. Pedro has been involved in community events, a founder of Latinos Unidos of Omak, a former board President for OK County Community action council, and has worked with WSU extension on a program called Leadership Plenty. He is invested and passionate about his community and is excited to bring all of his life experiences to FYRE.
Carol McMillan, Ph.D. taught fourth grade in Oakland, California for three years; lived with free-ranging rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago; worked as an archeologist at Mesa Verde National Park; spent four months camping across the southern half of Africa with an entomology expedition; and taught social and natural sciences at Wenatchee Valley College in Omak for thirty years before retiring to Bellingham, Washington in 2010. She had the privilege of helping start the Colville Tribes’ Language Preservation Program and working with them to coordinate their classes for college credit.
Carol has traveled in twenty-three countries on five continents. She has had poetry, short stories, and articles published in anthologies and academic journals. Her book, Red Water, White Walls, chronicles her two-week rafting trip through the Grand Canyon. Carol currently lives with her three cats in Kamuela, Hawai’i.
Monique is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes and was raised by her mother on traditional Okanagan territory. She recently graduated from EWU with a degree in communications and a minor in philosophy, she is also certified to teach nselxcin, the Okanagan dialect of interior Salish People. She is invested in the transfer of intergenerational knowledge to our young people and enriching their lives with language, culture, and the history of their ancestors. As a FYRE Board member, Monique brings an Indigenous perspective, including her holistic understanding of the complexities between community, ecosystems, and integrating social work.
Keith recently completed his studies at the University of Washington in American Indian Studies and Comparative History of Ideas through the College of Arts & Sciences as well as Education, Communities & Organizations through the College of Education. As a first-generation Indigenous scholar, Keith's lived experiences ignited a catalyst for advocacy, liberation and social change; to foster cultural responsiveness and racial equity in underrepresented communities, higher education and across his own research, scholarship, and academic endeavors. Keith's self-determination and resourceful abilities have led him to find success personally, academically, professionally for both himself and the resilient individuals in his life. He is honored and ecstatic to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Youth Resiliency and Engagement and looks forward to working alongside our communities as well as our Youth.
Caitlin moved to Okanogan County in 2018 after realizing that the city hussle she had been living for many years in Seattle was not sustainable. Her background in youth programs development, case management, and a background in anti-racist/anti-sexist organizing lead her to a job with Room One working on the Okanogan Healthy Youth Initiative. Though most of Caitlin's career has been working with youth and young adults in urban areas there are many parallel struggles between young people living in rural communities vs those in cities. Homelessness, a lack of mental health services, exploitation, teen pregnancy, generational poverty, etc.- all of these things impact young people in similar ways, except that in rural communities the resources are much more limited. That is why Caitlin is very excited to be on the Board of FYRE as she sees how valuable a youth centered organization in Okanogan County is.
In addition to caring deeply about youth, anti-racism, feminism, LGBTQ community, and health equity, Caitlin enjoys spending time with her amazing partner and their two cats, being in relationship to nature, playing sports, making art, and working on hand-poke tattoos.
There will be 1-2 Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) members present at each monthly board meeting. They will represent and voice the YAC’s ideas and opinions throughout the meeting and will hold one voting seat on the Board of Directors.
Our commitment to being youth-centered and culturally sensitive organization means that we have the utmost respect for youth’s lived experiences, feedback, and ideas. FYRE will maintain a monthly Youth Advisory Committee that will be responsible for reviewing numerous aspects of FYRE’s work including upcoming board meeting agendas, website and programming, business hours, and hiring of new staff. FYRE knows that youth voices matter and we hope youth can feel empowered through seeing positive change in response to their feedback.