Our mission is to facilitate the positive development of youth for the benefit of youth, their families, and the community by fostering and promoting the value of education, through sponsorship of academics, life skills, cultural arts, and athletic programs. These programs focus on the development and growth of individual character, responsibility, and group interaction for at-risk youth.
For over 50 years, CAYA has been proud to contribute to the development of many exceptional individuals, including an impressive list of community leaders and accomplished professional athletes.
CAYA was founded almost 50 years ago, originally focusing on organized football for kids living in the Seattle Central Area. These football teams, participating in the Capital Hill Junior Football Association, were the first organized activities that became CAYA.
In the late 1950’s, O.L. Mitchell, Charles Huey and former Washington State Governor Booth Gardner, who was a student at the University of Washington at the time, along with several community leaders, developed a written outline of an agency that would transform the Capital Hill Junior Football Association into the Central Area Youth Association.
In 1964, CAYA was formally established with O.L. Mitchell as the first Director. The purpose of formalizing the organization was to provide education, recreation, and social development activities for youth between the ages of 9 – 18. Through the years CAYA is proud to have contributed to the development of many exceptional individuals, including an impressive list of community leaders and accomplished professional athletes.
CAYA has gone through some changes over the years, but the vision and dedication of many individuals has kept the doors open as a positive force for youth in the community. We now have a new staff, new volunteer partners, and new programs.
Under the current leadership of Director Joe Staton, a CAYA alumnus and retired professional baseball player, we are excited about our future, and we look forward to working with the youth, their parents, and the community to continue to be a positive place for the kids of the Central District.