Be a ChangeMaker

We had some amazing nominations this year and are excited to announce the winners of the 2017 ChangeMaker awards at the upcoming At Edge of Amazing conference. There are so many people and organizations, dedicated to making our county a healthier place, it’s always inspiring to receive their stories! Thank you to all who nominated, all that serve our community, and everyone who contributes in a special way to make our community safe, better and more beautiful for others.


Nominations are now closed, but take a look at past winners!

2016 Individual ChangeMaker:

When women don’t have access to transportation and healthcare education, life can be difficult. Four years ago, Miriam Vargas recognized these issues were negatively influencing the lives of women living on Casino Road in Everett, and she quietly set to work doing something about it.

She began teaching women to drive. In her own car. Using her own insurance. Miriam’s initial program graduated 26 women.

In 2014, Miriam expanded her efforts, earning her Department of Health certificate as a community health worker as well as a “Promotoras de Salud” supported by Familias Unidas, a program of Lutheran Community Services Northwest. From there, she answered the call to educate women and offer resources. Specifically, she dedicated herself to teaching women in the local community about breast, cervical and colon health.

She became familiar with community-identified priorities and began advocating for those needs. She became a bridge between agencies’ services and the families who desperately needed them. And through it all, she has been deeply committed to and involved with English Language Learning and GED programs supported by the Mukilteo YMCA on Casino Road. She also sits on the board of the YMCA Engaging Hispanic and Latino Families Project.

Miriam Vargas is a champion of health, social justice and education opportunities. For women. For families. For anyone who needs a Miriam Vargas in their lives.

2015 Individual ChangeMaker:

Mary Toews is the founder of Mari’s Place: A Creative Space for Children & Adults. In addition to this she works as an interpreter and translator for several area hospitals and local businesses. In addition she serve as an instructor at ESL through educational programs for crime prevention for Latino families, Parks and Recreations Department.

She enjoys volunteering her time and energy to several local causes. She was the President of the Booster Drama Club for Lake Stevens High School, the committee Chairman for Legacy Project at the Children’s Museum, serves as the Board Director of the Education Foundation in Lake Stevens, United Way Snohomish County Vision Council and is a proud member of the Rotary Club.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Human Services from the University of Mexico, and Law degree in International Business as well as certification in Early Childhood Education.