About Us

Meet our Mentors!






I’m 38 years old and originally from Virginia. I’ve lived in Washington for almost 2 years. I’m especially interested in exploring Washington. I have a heart for volunteering.






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My name is Claudia and I am 26 years old. I spent the past two years as a middle school math teacher. I moved to Seattle to pursue a Masters in Social Work. I am excited to learn more about the community of Seattle.







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I am a 38 year old software professional who loves my job. I love to be with my friends watching movies, or brainstorming to find a solution to a technical problem, or playing poker. I am a father to two kids and I love to play with drones with my son.








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I love sports and to be active. I have an 8 year old boy, and a 4 year old girl that keep my active. I love to coach my son’s baseball team, golf and snowboard.









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I am 29 years old. My hobbies are playing card games, making friends and hiking. My interests are coffee, reading, and making things. I dislike cheetos and sesame oil.








Rachel and Susan
I am currently 30 years old from Harrisville MI. I am a claims adjuster at Geico. My favorite drink is a white chocolate mocha with nutmeg. I am currently binge watching “My Little Pony’s”. My dream vacation is Europe. If I had $1 Million I would pay off my student loans and start a foundation for reading.






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Hello! I am 27 years old, born and raised in this area. I went to WWU in Bellinghamd and lived there for 6 years, and have been back in Seattle for 3. I have a mini dachshund, Darwin, who I spoil and love to take on walks. I love to read. Fall is my favorite season and I work at Geico. I also like to play board games (Settlers, Ticket to Ride, etc) as well as video games.









Hi I’m Lani!  I am a pediatric occupational therapist;  its hard to explain what I do, but I help kids and families achieve their best potential.  My passions include culture, learning to become more aware of my environmental footprint, social justice, and children (oh and don’t forget dogs).  I love the outdoors and I try to climb, hike, or at least take my pups for a walk as often as possible.   My favorite color is orange, I love to dance and sing in my car and I love to read fantasy adventure books ( Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Wheel of time etc..)






Our Board of Directors




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Julia Hodges
Executive Director
Julia attended the University of Washington, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Psychology and Media and Communications Studies in 2013. Soon after graduating, Julia, along with a few other UW alumni, founded Empower Mentoring Program. Julia decided that in the forming years of the organization, the program should be offered where her heart lies, at her former middle school, Denny International Middle School. Today, Julia balances her time by working with Empower Mentoring Program, and being the lead teacher at MightyKidz Childcare in Magnolia. In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, sewing, and most of all, hiking all the trails in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Kim Co
Serving since August 2015
Board Chair
Kim works at the Department of Social and Health Services. She has been in the social & human services field for almost 10 years. She also has some teaching experience as an Enrichment Teacher for Community Day School Association a few years prior. Kim has a Master in Education of Instructional Leadership from Argosy University & a Bachelor in English from University of Washington in Seattle. Kim is not only a board member on our program committee, she is also actively involved in other organizations in the community. Things that are important to her are spending quality time with family & friends, maintaining her social interactions in the community, and help the people in need as much as she can. Kim likes to read, cook, and gardening, home decorating, and event planning. Kim enjoys hiking, sightseeing & connect herself with the beauty of Mother Nature, and do small runs to help raise funds for a good cause. A couple of her goals are being able to travel around the world and start a small business as an event planner. Kim’s motto is to: “Live a simple life gracefully! Laugh wholeheartedly! Love generously!”

Phong Dong
I’m an immigrant from Vietnam. Real estate and property and management is my work. I’m involve with EMP because I believe there is so much values that we can provide for our younger generations. It’s important to have the guidance and advice so that you are in a better position in life and are aware of the choices you make.

Wes Harris
Serving since August 2016
Wes has spent much of his career developing media companies and finding new ways connect fans with the entertainment they love. Wes served as founder and CEO of Magnetic Press, an Eisner-nominated publisher of graphic novels, art books, and games. He spent time at Meteor Entertainment as VP of Transmedia Publishing for the popular videogame HAWKEN. He was VP of Publishing at BOOM! Studios, an Eisner Award winning comic publisher with titles including Peanuts, Garfield, and Adventure Time. He also served as Director of Product and Brand Marketing for VIZ Media, the #1 US publisher of manga and producer of several top shows on Cartoon Network. Along with a passion for entertainment development and general management, Wes enjoys hiking the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest with his rambunctious rescue dog.


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