Last Saturday the Skyway community turned out to celebrate an unsung hero of 18 years at Renton Area Youth Services family center.
Her name is Cynthia Green and to many in that community she means a great deal. She has been the front desk program assistant for RAYS, but one of her supervisors, Morgan Wells, will tell you that her title never really captured what Green did.
“Cynthia was a really exceptional person,” said Wells. “She touched a lot of people here and I think her impact is felt far beyond these walls. And it was just a great opportunity to stop and celebrate her and, like I said, mark her legacy going forward.
RAYS renamed their family center the Cynthia A. Green Family Center, set up an emergency basic needs fund in her name and King County proclaimed Sept. 6 “Cynthia Green Day.”
Green manned the front desk for RAYS at their Skyway location, but more than that she listened to peoples’ stories and helped them access resources for years.
“If we didn’t know where the resource was, she would make phone calls until she found something to help,” said Wells.
Green is also responsible for RAYS (Kinship Caregivers Support Group.) It’s basically a network of relatives helping relatives keeping kids out of foster care. Wells reports that there are 35 families in their present network, but hundreds more that they don’t know about. It is the biggest and most successful kinship network in the county. Green was awarded, also on Saturday, a PhD Award for Persistence, Hope and Determination by the Kinship Network of King County.
“My mother’s work with RAYs continues to reverberate across the Skyway/West Hill Community via the many lives she touched during her time at the center,” said her son Marcus, in an email. “She is, and remains, a matriarch to the community and the dedication of the building pays testimony to that.”
Many dignitaries and officials turned out for the dedication on Saturday, including RAYS Board of Directors, Carolyn Parnell; Richard Brooks, executive director, and Ricky Robinson, the first RAYS director, who hired Green.
Cynthia Green could not be reached for comment.