Once a Child, Now a Man
5 ft”6 inches tall, he is a man who loves to work w/ kids. He is a white American man with greyish hair, and brown eyes that changes color. He is a man who loves to talk also, and he likes to have a good time. He listens to anything you have to say when you have a problem. He is the type of man that will check up on you & see how school is going, or if there’s anything he can help with. His name is Ken Gillgren.
Ken was born in 1952 at an Army Hospital in Virgina, but he was raised in Milwaukee. His first three jobs were cleaning instruments, working at a music store & filling vending machines. Ken had gotten those jobs from teachers, family & friends during high school. He also worked at Marshall Field’s during college. After he graduated from college, he joined a community development organization and worked in Texas, Oklahoma, an Eskimo Village in Alaska, and then he went to Indonesia, Korea, then to Japan. In Japan he joined a corporate communications company. He has a wife & 2 sons. Then when his sons were old enough to go to elementary school, he decided to move to Seattle. Coming back from overseas, Ken came here in September 1992. His wife & kids came to Seattle in February of the next year. They lived in Wedgwood, half a block from a middle school. He has lived in Seattle for about 22 years.
He’s worked in the Rainier Beach neighborhood for about 5 years. The thing he is most proud of is the Freedomnet Project because it’s bringing together youth & adults, telling new stories about the community. The thing he likes best about the Rainier Beach community is the diversity & that people have decided not to take it anymore & do things on their own. The things he wishes he could change is the walls between the ethnic communities.