TOGETHER! engages and mobilizes families, schools and the community to advance the health, safety and success of our youth.
Our VisionAll young people in Thurston and Mason County communities are supported, healthy,
TOGETHER! has had only 3 executive directors in its 21-year history. Here they all are with TOGETHER!'s longest-serving staff member.
Mary Segawa, staff member from 1996 to 2004 and executive director from 2004 to 2010.
Jim Cooper, current executive director since March 2010 after 3 years as a staff member.
Betty Curneen, one of the first staff members. She held many titles during her 20-year tenure and retired in 2010.
Earlyse Swift, the founding executive director, who led the agency from 1989 to 2004.
TOGETHER! has been serving the residents of Thurston County since 1989 with youth violence and substance abuse prevention activities.
Thurston County is an urban/rural area of more than 250,000 people on the southern end of Puget Sound in Washington state. It includes Olympia, the state capital; the urban cities Lacey and Tumwater; and the rural communities of Yelm, Rainier, Tenino, Bucoda and Rochester.
In May 1989, community leaders in Thurston County met with social development researchers from the University of Washington to discuss the growing presence of substance abuse problems in our neighborhoods and schools. They embraced the "Communities That Care" research-based model for developing a comprehensive, communitywide plan to combat the problem. This meeting gave birth to TOGETHER!
Over the succeeding twelve months, TOGETHER! grew from a vision to a grass-roots campaign to mobilize the communities of Thurston County in a coordinated effort to prevent youth violence and youth alcohol, drug and tobacco use. Fifty-six key community leaders collaborated in program development, all dedicated to the vision of safe and drug-free communities for our youth.
TOGETHER! incorporated and was granted Washington State non-profit corporation status in September 1989, and IRS 501(c)(3) determination in June 1990. Grants and service contracts that have funded programs, operations and evaluation have included awards from federal, state and county agencies; local jurisdictions; and private foundations, and support from local businesses and interested individuals.
TOGETHER!'s community-mobilizing, coalition-building and prevention programming efforts have been recognized over the years by a variety of organizations, including Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Governor's Council on Substance Abuse, U.S. Department of Justice/FBI, Community Youth Services and the Thurston County Board of Health.