A Farewell Message from Executive Director Darlene Kiyan
Updated: Jan 19
Growing up, my parents instilled the value of hard work and community involvement. Having only a 9th grade education, my parents worked multiple jobs to support our family. They instilled the value of education and hard work. As you can imagine, my family was very proud when I became the first person in my extended family to graduate from university. I have devoted my life to supporting families like mine to have a brighter future.
Seventeen years ago I lost a family member to gang violence. This refocused my efforts to work with young people to give them the opportunities with positive adult role models and programs to prevent young people from entering gangs so other families would not experience the same pain and devastation.
When I was presented with the opportunity to lead the Toberman Neighborhood Center four years ago, I was excited to bring my experience and passion to the Harbor Communities. Over the last 4 years we have worked to increase the programs and respond to the pandemic so that not only would families survive but thrive.
Last month I announced to the Board of Directors that I have accepted a position at a larger agency and would be transitioning to my new position on January 14th. When I accepted the position in 2018, no one could have predicted the challenges we were about to face. The team and I did all that we could to expand our programs and services to reach more families, participating in a national study with Search Institute to build positive communication with youth and their parenting adults with Keep Connected and the developmental relationship framework. The staff have worked tirelessly to support families through the pandemic.
I am proud of the staff and the impact we have made in the community. I will always hold Toberman close to my heart.