Amber Waldref

Amber Waldref was born and raised in Northeast Spokane and lives in the Logan neighborhood with her husband and two daughters. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and earned her M.A. in Environment and Community from Antioch University, Seattle. Amber has deep experience in community engagement and collaboration. After working in policy and development for several non-profit organizations, including The Lands Council, she was twice elected to the Spokane City Council. In this role, she was a leader in expanding public transit, overseeing city investments to prevent pollution from entering the Spokane River, and developing local and state policies to address the impacts of housing foreclosures. As Director of The Zone Project, she is committed to building resident leadership & changing systems to achieve measurable, positive outcomes for her neighbors. In her “free” time, Amber serves on the Spokane Housing Authority Board and on the Washington State Governor’s 2020 Census Committee. She also owns her own consulting business, providing administrative and strategic planning support to non-profits, including Urbanova, the “Smart Cities” collaboration based in Spokane’s University District.

Jene Ray

Whole Family Engagement Coordinator

Jene Ray has been teaching since fourth grade (with ballet classes and Sunday School as her debut). After obtaining her Master’s in Teaching Degree with both Elementary and Secondary credentials, she was a classroom teacher for twenty years, teaching pre-school through high school before moving to the district level to teach and coach teachers. Jene’s experience includes five years of state level education funding and policy work in Olympia, as well as Directing Operations for an education research center at the University of Washington Tacoma focused on trauma informed instruction, the effects of poverty on learning, and diversity training for staff of both school and out of school programs. Jene serves as the Zone Project Whole Family Engagement Coordinator, partnering with residents in NE Spokane to coordinate support for multi-generational outcomes in housing, safety, health, economics, and education. When Jene has a free moment she loves trying new recipes, reading books in French, taking walks in the sunshine, and spending time with family.


Nathan Hamilton

Family Resource Coordinator

Nathan Hamilton was born and raised in NE Spokane in Hillyard. As someone who did not go through high school as a traditional student, he made his way into AmeriCorps and then director of Boys & Girls Clubs teen center in Vancouver Washington. In his five years at the teen center, he focused on gang prevention and intervention, mental health for youth, and trauma informed education. Nathan created partnerships with Catholic charities to get mental health workers into the clubs and train staff on trauma informed programming. After his work at the club he went back to school to finish his degree in Social Justice. Coming back to where it all started Nathan wanted to continue the work he did in Vancouver. Nathan serves as the Family Resource Coordinator for the Zone project, focusing on school and family engagement at Logan Elementary, Regal Elementary, and Bemiss Elementary.

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Amy McColm

Family Resource Coordinator

Born in Washington, Amy McColm spent a large part of her adult life traveling and working abroad with almost a decade of that time spent as an educator in South Korea. Amy moved to Spokane in 2018 and spent her first year in the city living in the Logan neighborhood. In addition to her many years working in education, Amy has worked as a community organizer and on statewide and local political campaigns. A passionate environmentalist and advocate, Amy spends much of her free time volunteering with organizations focused on social justice issues, including serving as Chairperson of the Spokane NAACP Education Committee. Amy also likes to spend time tinkering around her new little home, a 29’ RV named Lotus. Amy earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Whitman College, and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Troy University. Amy McColm works with the ZoNE Project through a partnership with Stand for Children ( and develops strong partnerships in support of students and families at Garry Middle School, Lidgerwood Elementary, and Stevens Elementary.

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Krysten Proszek

Expanded Learning and Data Coordinator

Krysten Proszek was born and raised in Spokane and lives in the Minnehaha neighborhood with her husband. A graduate of North Central, she received her B.A. in Marketing from Eastern Washington University. Krysten has six years of experience working in the non-profit sector, specifically around community engagement, program development, and building relationships with children and youth. She has spent the last four years working in Northeast neighborhood schools and is looking forward to partnering with local organizations to enhance outcomes for students and families that utilize their programs. Krysten serves supports and aligns after-school and summer programming so children and youth can achieve key academic and social-emotional milestones that contribute to on-time graduation, college and/or career readiness, as well as other family health, education and economic goals. She also coordinates data collection and assessment of ZoNE Project initiatives. In her free time, Krysten enjoys running on the Centennial Trail, attending local farmers markets, and playing with her cats.

Housing Partners

Health Partners


Community Frameworks

Habitat for Humanity

Spokane Housing Authority

Spokane Housing Ventures

Catholic Charities

Family Promise

Spokane Regional Health District


Children’s Home Society

Second Harvest Food Bank

Farmer’s Market Association

Northwest Harvest

Unify Community Health

Frontier Behavioral Health

Financial Education Partners

Numerica Credit Union


United Way

Education and Skills Development

Year-round opportunities for both children and adults

Girl Scouts



Educational Service District 101

Philanthropic Partners

Umpqua Foundation

Spokane Public Schools

Boys and Girls Club

Gonzaga University

Communities in Schools

Northeast Youth Center

Spokane Parks and Recreation

Schools Out Washington

Spokane Community Colleges

Association of General Contractors

NextGen Zone

Worksource/Workforce Development Council

Greater Spokane Incorporation (Chamber of Commerce)

College Success Foundation

Gear Up

Spokane Public Library

College Success Foundation

Ballmer Group

City of Spokane

Innovia Foundation

Empire Health Foundation

United Way

Spokane Parks Foundation

Better Health Together Spokane Collaborative

Safety & Justice

School and ELC Anchor Partners

Family Navigator Network

Juvenile Court and Spokane Community Court

Every Child Counts Alliance

Team Child

Safe Communities Taskforce (Gang Prevention)

Spokane Police Department

Garry Middle School

Lumen High School

Hillyard Youth Collaborative – Gonzaga University, Communities in Schools, Boys and Girls Club

Regal Elementary

Logan Elementary

Stevens Elementary

Catholic Charities

Bemiss Elementary

Children's Home Society/Parkview Learning Center

Northeast Child Development Center/Head Start

Spokane Community Colleges

Shaw Middle School

Data and Technical Assistance Partners

City of Spokane

Spokane Regional Health District


4001 N. Cook St. Spokane WA  99207

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