News & Stories

South Seattle – May 2022

Hello my name is Alera Vargas and I am the administrative intern here at Cultured. I am so delighted for the opportunity to be sharing my heart this month with you all. Interning at the Cultured site has taught me many things and filled my life in many ways but the most important being the relationship that is fostered between myself and the students as well as the importance of understanding the community you are working with.


“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have gone far enough, princes of Israel! Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Stop dispossessing my people, declares the Sovereign Lord.” ~  Ezekiel 45:9

The communities in South Seattle are historically Black communities but today that is not quite the case. One day as I was driving two students home it came up that I did not know the community well enough to drive around without a GPS. One of my students, Naomi, pointed out the different Black historic landmarks, opening my eyes to the rich history of the neighborhood I was working in.

In the 1970s, the central district and Rainier Valley were the center of civil rights movements in Seattle, fighting for equal rights for African American individuals. In the following decades, Black people would have made up 80% of the population in the Central District. Today the Central District is 60% White due to gentrification and rent increases in the area.

This is what makes Cultured Studios such a special place. Students of color are united in community and are able to be empowered to be leaders in their own communities and learn how to make their voices heard in a society where they may feel silenced.


“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10

Lajaya began coming to Cultured when she was 15, building community with other girls and leaders. When she was 16 her mom passed away and she soon began to have nightmares in the middle of the night that heavily disturbed her.

Through attending Cultured nights and camps, Lajaya felt called to start believing in God. She started to pray and felt that she should become baptized. Once baptized she felt free. She felt empowered and as if she could accomplish any goal she had and no longer suffered from nightmares.

Cultured Studios is a place where students like Lajaya can come and experience their lives, good or bad, and encounter Jesus while being in relationship with others.


I invite you all to join us May 20th at Emerald City Bible Fellowship at 7pm for our Cultured event “Rooted”. This will be an opportunity to see more of the work done here at Cultured and learn the story of our ministry and those that benefit from it. If you would like to support us we would appreciate volunteers to provide meals, financial support, or mentorship for our students.


  • Pray for our students as they wrap up the school year or make final decisions on which universities to attend after graduation.
  • Pray for peace in the households and neighborhoods our students occupy.
  • Pray for wisdom and strength for our leadership team as we navigate through ministry work.