A Letter from the Founder & Director of F-factor


Ellen Young
Founder & Executive Director

Foster children hold a special place in my heart. For a child placed in foster care any number of disturbing or traumatic events will have already taken place in their life. Let's take a moment to recognize a few of these: abuse, sexual or physical, neglect, one or both parents addiction to drugs, or children born with HIV/AIDS or drug addition, parents who have died.  Statistics offer nearly 500,000 children are a part of the foster care system each year, and an estimated 10,000 children here in Washington State.

To a child statistics do not matter.  What does matter are the experiences that are overwhelming with emotional and mental health consequences, instability, and trauma.

Most children will endure the abuse, neglect, and the harmful choices made by the adults around them. The circumstances in which most of these children come from, are harsh and unimaginable.  Placing a child in foster care is what saves their life, but also jeopardizes their future.  Their rate of success is bleak and makes them targets for a life of substance abuse, trafficking, the juvenile and welfare system, and homelessness.  Research proves it is more cost effective to connect and provide resources for foster youth, than to allow them to fall into the depths of our society. As children they don't have a choice where they sleep at night, when they will see their siblings, or what clothes they have on their back. The F-factor is designed to EMPOWER youth, by providing innovative workshops that focus on building self-confidence, giving them a safe place to practice self-expression, and tools to explore their identity. 

 I'm here to do my part!  The F-factor is a grassroots organization with a dedicated spirit! Our goal is to genuinely impact the lives of the children we serve, offering them a light of glimmering hope in the darkness of their trauma.   

The community has embraced The F-factor in various acts of kindness, generosity, and inclusion.  As Executive Director I have sat amongst board members planning swanky events, and shared intimate dinner parties, but what has truly swept me off my feet is the transformation children experience in The F-factor's Fashion Workshops.  Each day that passes I find myself reaching for new heights and savoring the astounding support from our donors and sponsors.  Like foster children, The F-factor relies on the community for success.  I want to take this opportunity to thank our donors, volunteers, and especially the children we serve for showing bravery and resilience through adversity!

My mission is to heal hearts, will you help? 


Ellen Young

**An amazing short film, ReMoved offers insight to the lives of foster children. 


Board of Directors


janice jimenez
board president & marketing director

Janice is the creative solution to a nonprofit’s marketing challenges; she is also a master of organizational skills that serve the F-factor well as the President on the Board of Directors.  Janice has served with the F-factor and Ruby Room since January 2016 and her contributions are astounding, as well as her ability to elevate the operations of the organization.  Janice’s roots are from California where she graduated from California State University-Fullerton. Having a best friend adopt a pair of siblings through the foster system, Janice’s heart strings tugged when hearing about F-factor’s mission and then again when the opportunity to expand their mission with the Ruby Room. 


Katie Artz
Director of Community Outreach

Katie is a dedicated member of the community when she isn’t directing backstage at the ION Fashion Event she remains active in multiple organizations serving her community. Katie has a professional background in the fashion industry and can testify to the power of clothing and how it can shape an individual’s self-worth. Katie believes in giving back to her community and to help influence younger generations to be strong and confident. Katie’s role with Ruby Room and F-factor is to foster relationships with organizations and individuals in our community to further our mission and impact as many youth possible.


Jamie Larson
Director of Ruby Room Programs

Growing up in Northern Idaho with a family in the retail business Jaime always had a love of clothing.  After graduating from the University of Washington Jaime went to work in the corporate offices of Nordstrom, where she has been for the last decade.  When looking for a way to give back to the community she came upon an article about the Ruby Room and decided to sign up and help for one weekend.   After assisting her first client she knew this was the perfect place to be and three years on she is still volunteering for prom season and loving it.  Jaime is excited and honored to bring her wealth of retail knowledge and customer service to the Ruby Room.


Kristen hendrickson
Director of events

Coming Soon!


maryAlice yahyavi
Director of program engagement

A volunteer with the Ruby Room since 2009, MaryAlice is passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community and looks forward to personal styling the teens that come into the Ruby Room for Homecoming and Prom each year. MaryAlice is a Program Analyst on the Commute and Transportation team at Microsoft for CBRE. MaryAlice holds a Master of Arts in Strategic Communications from Washington State University. In her free time, MaryAlice enjoys going to SoulCycle, hiking, attending concerts, boating, volunteering and traveling.


ann mary myers
Director of finance

Growing up Ann Mary felt passionate about studying fashion and design but as she found her excellence in mathematics this led her to a rewarding career in engineering. Currently Ann Mary works at Paccar and is completing her MBA at the University of Washington. Ann Mary is passionate about advocating for changes in workplace, community, and the world with a strong vision to help those she works with achieve their goals.


In The News

Check-out some of the latest features about the F-factor either in the news or through our community partners

Just a little recap from Ryther