Rachel Hatch joined Avenues in October 2021. As the Director of Programs, she oversees Avenues’ five core programs and supervises the program managers and program staff team. Rachel brings over 25 years of equity-centered nonprofit experience in the housing/homelessness field with specific expertise in youth homelessness and supportive housing. Most recently, she served as the Supportive Housing Manager with the Bridge for Youth. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Augustana College. Learn more about Rachel by reading her interview below.
What about youth inspires you?
For me, it goes back to resilience and hope – their ability to adapt and still maintain their focus on future ambitions, and the ability to learn to trust us when they arrive here. For most of our youth, relationships with adults have not always been a positive experience. We need to earn that –and it’s such a gift.
What would you say is your super power?
I have the ability to remain calm and steady and sift out drama. It’s important to not be reactive and really remain centered in this work. Crisis happens and we know things will occur we are not planning for. Youth look to us for our reaction to “perceived crisis” and it’s important we don’t react out of anxiety or fear.
What about this role excites you?
I’m excited to be part of a team that’s already doing such impactful work in the community and really abides by its core values. I have a passion for youth work and I’m excited to work alongside everyone here to do our best work. I’m even more impressed with all that’s happening here and I’m looking forward to being a part of the solid community that Avenues is. I’ve definitely felt that in my short time here.
Which of Avenues’ values to you lead with?
I always go back to trust. I don’t think you can have the other values without trusting each other, the community, and most importantly, partnering with young people. With that, the rest follow.