ty1“I don’t understand how SpongeBob does this,” Trent Yamada says, referring to an episode of the popular children’s cartoon in which the sponge is running around with a leaf blower to clean up his and his neighbor’s yard. “I’m not very good at this,” Yamada states as he attempts to gather leaves into a pile. Luckily, Yamada’s mentor, Bill Gill, is always there to lend a helping hand.

Gill is the groundskeeper at Jubilee Reach (a non-profit organization who offers help and support to those who need it) and Yamada is his right-hand-man. On a typical Thursday you will find Yamada around Jubilee Reach doing various tasks such as changing light bulbs, yard work, or set-up/tear-down for the centers’ clinics and community gatherings. Throughout his time at Jubilee, Yamada has developed exceptional skills through the work that he does. One such skill is his very unique ability to change a light bulb on the ceiling with his eyes closed. Other tasks, such as leaf blowing, might need some work. Being able to change a light bulb might be helpful but it doesn’t compare to some of the others things he is learning about.

ty2“He has grown a lot,” Gill says. Yamada is now doing more and more jobs that he might not enjoy, but he understands that he needs to get them done. “During his time here I’ve seen his work ethic grow, and he has matured a lot as a person. There are a wide variety of people who come into the Jubilee Reach doors every day and Trent has no problem talking to any of them,” His work has made an impact on Gill and the community that is the center of Jubilee Reach.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.