Local Girl Makes Good, Right Here at Home

Local Girl Makes Good, Right Here at Home

If you’ve attended a community meeting in the Rainier Valley in the last few years, it’s likely that you’ve rubbed shoulders with Patrice Thomas, Community and Economic Development Coordinator with SouthEast Effective Development (SEED) — a local non-profit community development corporation.

Patrice — an artist and lifelong resident of Seattle’s south-end — has traveled extensively, but says that the work she’s doing right now in her own community is the best job she’s ever had, with one exception.

“I need a spider man webber (ssppsh ssppsh) for quicker travel from meeting to meeting!” she says.

Sarah Valenta, Community Development Manager at HomeSight — another local non-profit that shares a space with SEED and collaborates on projects — calls Patrice an energetic and enthusiastic advocate for the Rainier Valley.

“Patrice has unique and creative ways of addressing issues in the community that we all can learn from,” she said. “I have had the pleasure of working with her on a few community related programs including Bridge to Beach Earth Day event and the On Board Othello work group. She is often volunteering to step up and take a leadership role when the need arises and is uniquely gifted at working collaboratively. We are fortunate to have her working for us in this community.”

This week, Patrice was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for your RVP’s People in Your Neighborhood column, a space dedicated to highlighting the unsung heroes of the southeast Seattle community.

Patrice Thomas


Rainier Beach

How long in Seattle’s south-end?
Born and raised here!

Where from originally?
South-end of Seattle

Day job:
Community and Economic Development

What do you like most about your day job?
What I like most about my job is that not one day is the same, and there are so many layers to the people that I have the pleasure of working with  and the communities that I have the pleasure of working in.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about housing, being able to live where the heck I want, how I want in the most beautiful way that my own resources will allow. And my family! I will mount a dragon to put a smile on their faces.

What are your hobbies?
Doing fabulous hair, Art when I get a chance, and the everyday grind of maintaining the relationships of the persons I hold near and dear.

Tell us about your family:
I’m the eldest of five. I have an extremely athletic, scholarly, driven, entrepreneurial family rich in faith. Migrants from Louisiana and Michigan. With Native American, African, German and Dutch ancestry. My uncle is the eldest living African American Vet, just to brag a little!

Who inspires you?
My mother, greatest woman I will ever know.

What was the last thing you read?
The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Tell us something about you that not many people know:
I have had the fortune of traveling through my art, and I used to box in high school.

What’s your favorite thing about the Rainier Valley?
The trees lining and creating a canopy on the main and residential streets in the summer time… nothing like it!

Where is your favorite place to go in the Rainier Valley?
Coleman Park

If there was one thing you could change about the Rainier Valley, what would it be?
Increased home ownership for African Americans

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being able to support and have access to the things that make you happy without second thought. Whatever it might be.

What is your greatest fear?
Roaches and that I’m really an alien!

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Unsubstantiated doubt

What is your greatest regret?
Not joining ROTC

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My family

What is your current state of mind?
“Take it as it comes.”

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Making it through my 20’s while living in Florida.

What is your most treasured possession?
My faith and my family’s trust.

If you could live anywhere besides the Rainier Valley, where would it be?
Maia Beach, Cebu City, Philippines!

What do you most value in your friends?

Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents and grandparents.

What is it that you most dislike?
Folks chewing with their mouth open.

Photo/Patrice Thomas



One Comment

  1. Guyanthony Parramore says:

    Patrice Thomas is the best example of the Super Woman. I have been blessed to have her become a part of my and my daughters life. She truly is as real as it get and God knows she came home from purpose. You stay real Patrice, you’ll always have this brothers support and prayers.