Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator
Patricia Ridge is a student at The Evergreen State College studying social justice and policy. She graduated South Puget Sound Community College in June of 2012 and got her Associate of Applied Sciences, Paralegal Studies. She is a single mother of two boys, Michael and Nathan. Patricia is extremely driven and determined to better the lives of her family and the people.
Patricia became interested in the work of P.O.W.E.R. because she has risen out of addiction, domestic violence and homelessness. It is her mission to serve others and encourage, support and change the future for her family in a positive way. Patricia realizes that times are tough for many. At the same time, no one should be treated poorly because they ask for help. She made mistakes when she was younger and has fought to change her life and has become staunch advocate for the causes she cares about.
In Patricia’s free time, she likes to volunteer where she is needed. She volunteers for Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services and Barb O’Neil foundation during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. With her boys, she also volunteers in their schools and tromps around town every chance she gets searching out undiscovered territory for the boys. In addition, Patricia and her kids love to go to the YMCA and Kid's Museum.
Rylie Martin is a freshman at The Evergreen State College and recently began her journey with POWER as a work-study student, learning about poverty and the legislature. She has personal experience with poverty, growing up in a family fluctuating between poverty and lower-middle class, she understands the need for higher education and enhanced workers rights. Both her parents and her grandparents have struggled throughout life, which has inspired her to achieve more, aid those in need, and invoke change in our country’s policies.
Her parents worked hard their whole lives to deny their poverty and surround her with the best education and opportunities to inspire her future. Although this indeed inspired Rylie to reach higher goals, it also made her feel left out, different, and misunderstood. Poverty is real and it affects us all. Awareness from others is important in the path to eradicating poverty and isolation.
Rylie participates in outreach, fundraising, and updates the website for POWER. She hopes she can make a difference with these small actions she has to offer.
Rylie can often be found swimming laps at the campus pool or under a pile of textbooks on her dorm room floor.
Julianne Panagacos has been drawn to social justice work since the beginning of high school. She organized her first protest as a senior in high school when the teachers did not have a contract and the administration was not willing to bargain. Julianne mobilized students in support of the teachers and led a walkout. She first came to Evergreen and Olympia in 2007 and combined her interest in social and environmental movements by concentrating on food politics. She worked on opening up the Flaming Eggplant Student-Run Collective Cafe, at the Evergreen campus that specializes in local and seasonal food. Through this work she met many committed and effective social change agents and organizations of which POWER was one.