JJ Frank

JJ Frank came home to serve his community

On April 21, The Herald Business Journal will announce the 2016 recipient of the Emerging Leaders Award. This week and next, we are profiling 12 finalists, who were chosen by a panel of judges from among dozens of nominees.

Faith is an important part of JJ Frank’s life. So is community.

Frank, the executive director of the Marysville/North County Family YMCA, is a “home-grown man” having attended Everett Public Schools and then going to the University of Washington where he played college football.

Frank came back to live and serve in the community where he was raised. He worked for the Everett Police Department before joining the YMCA.

In 2002, Frank started the innovative Minority Achievers Program to motivate and support students of color and immigrants to achieve their higher education and career goals.

It started with just 24 students in two school districts. It’s grown to six school districts serving more than 400 students countywide. Many of those students have gone to college, some with support from donations that Frank and others have been able to obtain for them.

Frank, who is African-American, helped form the Communities of Color Coalition. He’s also served on several boards in the community, including on the United Way of Snohomish County, the executive board of the NAACP of Snohomish County and Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. He’s also part of the Marysville Rotary.

He’s also served as a member of the Black Prison Caucus at the Washington State Reformatory at Monroe. In the role, helped inmates learn new skills to transition back in their community. He’s also said he’s a minister at his church and is in charge of its Sunday school.

“I mention this because my faith in Jesus Christ has really shaped my character as a servant leader,” Frank said. “It is not about myself but about serving others.”

He said in his nomination form that wants to continue to work with like-minded organizations and serve Snohomish County in a greater capacity.

“I plan to retire in Snohomish County, dedicating a lifetime of service back to the community that has given me so much,” Frank said.

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