About Us


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.

Igniting the spark: Leadership & Alumni


Booth Gardener Tacoma native. The Lakeside School, Seattle (1954) University of Washington, B.A. (1958) University of Washington Law School (1959) Harvard University Business School, M.B.A. (1963) Read more here. 1985 – 1993 – 8 year(s), Chaired: Western Governors’ Association, National Governors’ Association, Education Commission of the States. In a 1991 Newsweek-Gallup Poll Gardner was named one of the three most effective governors in America Read more here.

OL Mitchell, At Franklin High School, Mr. Mitchell played linebacker, won all-city honors. Mr. Mitchell also played football for Whitworth College from 1953 to 1956 and helped the team to the school’s longest winning streak. He was the only black player on the team in those years faculty at Franklin. At the school, he held various positions, including athletic director, activities coordinator and dean of students. He co-founded the Central Area Youth Association, and served on numerous boards and commissions, including the 4-H Challenge Program, the King County Youth Commission, the Seattle Parks Board of Commissioners and the City of Seattle Design Review Board.

Charles Huey Co- founder, youth & family advocate, African-American Academy, helped found the Central Area Youth Association and served as chairman of the Washington State Human Rights Commission, Casey Family Program, said one of Mr. Huey’s strengths was bringing in diverse people. Mr. Huey had been a trustee or officer of that long-term foster-family service since 1978.

CAYA Program Graduates:

Joe Staton Current Director of CAYA, Garfield High School All State Baseball, US Major League Baseball for Detroit Tigers (1970 – 1973), and professional baseball in Mexico for 5 years. When Joe returned home to Seattle from Mexico, he began working with kids through coaching, eventually coaching the baseball teams for both Franklin and Garfield High Schools. Joe joined the CAYA Board of Directors in 1998, and became the Director of CAYA in 2001.


Bruce Harrell, Garfield High School – Seattle City Council Member and former University of Washington linebacker, 1978 Rose Bowl Champion, 1979 Sun Bowl Champion, 1979 Most Valuable Defensive Player Award, 1st Team All Pac-10, 2008 Husky Legend award. B.A. Political Science (1980 U.W. Academic All-American; 2007 University of Washington Distinguished Alumni Award; M.A. (Organizational Design and Improvement, Dean’s List); Juris Doctorate (Washington State Bar Association, 9th Circuit). currently Chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee and vice-chair of the Transportation Committee.


William Alex “Billy” North, Garfield HS center fielder in Major League Baseball, and World Series champion (1973,1974).
Chicago Cubs (1971–72), Oakland Athletics (1973–78) first player in the club’s history to serve as a designated hitter,
Los Angeles Dodgers (1978) and San Francisco Giants (1979–81).


Brandon Roy Garfield HS, professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Roy previously played for the Portland Trail Blazers for five seasons. He was selected sixth in the 2006 NBA Draft, 3x: NBA All Star: 2008, 2009, 2010.
2x: All-NBA Team: 2009, All-NBA Second Team, 2010 All-NBA Third Team. NBA Rookie of the Year: 2007, NBA All-Rookie Team: 2007, NBA All-Rookie First Team


Jason Terry Franklin HS, professional basketball shooting guard, and point guardplayer who currently plays for the Boston Celtics in the NBA. Won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 2009. Terry was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks out of college. He played 8 years for the Dallas Mavericks where he won an NBA championship when they defeated the Miami Heat in six games on June 12, 2011.


Corey Dillon Franklin HS, Super Bowl Winner, New England Patriots, American football running back. He played his ten-season career for the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots, wearing jersey number 28 for both teams. Dillon played college football the University of Washington. Scored 5 TDs in 41-21 conquest of UCLA, earning Sports Illustrated National Player of the Week honors as he rushed for 145 yards and added 53 yards in receptions

Board of Directors

Joe Staton – Director – joeseattlecaya.346@gmail.com

JJ Wilkerson

Chester Aughtry

William Hanley

Ron Goodman

Thomas Calhoun

Shannon Smith

Any Hento