As the evening grows late and students continue busily working on their homework, Kathie Byers sits at a table in the front of Nicholson library selling cookies to raise funds for her nonprofit, Leading Inspiring Nurturing Connecting and Succeeding.
Byers and some friends started LINCS 17 years ago to benefit the youth of the west valley including the areas of Sheridan, Willamina, and Grand Ronde.
Byers sells chocolate chip and M&M’s cookies for $2 along with maple bacon for $2.50. The goal of LINCS is to promote positive youth development for kids who may be struggling or need extra help.
Byers’s goal is for the kids to see college as something that they could attend as long as they work for it.
She commented that, “Vocational opportunities are a great way for kids to work for what they want.” She hopes that kids will realize that their goals are attainable. LINCS holds an open gym at a Sheridan, Ore. school every Saturday night for local kids to attend.
The cookies are made by kids and Byers hopes to eventually make it so those that make the cookies could also receive their food handler’s permit. The funds raised from the cookies go towards camping trips, ski trips, and other activities for local youth. The ski trips have become popular enough that over 100 kids from the West Valley go on the trips.
Byers is passionate about helping youth realize their goals because she was able to capture hers as she received the Ford-Restart scholarship that has allowed her to study Business management at Linfield starting in the fall of 2010. Byers is looking forward to walking at graduation in June.
She commented that, “Students at Linfield have been very accepting and supportive.” Previously, Byers was a paramedic. Her life goal is to build a multi-million dollar recreation center with athletic and study facilities for local youths. Byers will be selling cookies at the library Sunday-Thursday evenings from 8-11 p.m.
Jonathan Williams / Opinion editor
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