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How Partners Stepped Up With Support Throughout the Pandemic

When COVID-19 hit last year it raised all kinds of questions for our organization and our program. We were worried about the safety of our students and our team. We were worried about transitioning to a completely virtual environment. We were worried about what impact the pandemic would have on our funding and stability in Washington. We were worried about all the same things most of the world was worried about.

We are so fortunate to have received so much reassurance and support from all corners of our community — and we want to say thank you.

Thank you to the individuals who continued to prioritize giving to College Possible throughout the pandemic. We know this year put additional strains on you too and we recognize how fortunate it is that educational equity remains a priority for you. We appreciate you — every single one of the 160 of you.

Thank you to the companies and foundations who went above and beyond when the pandemic hit. Like BECU who extended our grant for a third year of support, showing an incredible commitment to our students. Or the Silver Family Foundation who granted both the Oregon and Washington College Possible sites with continued, multiyear support. Or the Medina Foundation who reached out and granted us additional funds with no application, no questions asked. This is what true partnership and trust in our work looks like.

During the crisis, youth centers had to close their doors, in-person programming had to stop or go virtual, and programs that worked in schools lost that connection. These organizations now have to determine how they bring students back, how they address social distancing needs, and how they will staff up to provide programming. This planning will cost money, and we know that many youth-serving organizations are already struggling financially. We made 67 ‘surprise’ grants to the Foundation’s youth-serving grantees. These Youth Development Recovery Grants were for $5,000 each and were meant to support agencies as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic — ideally to help them with whatever they may need to make that transition successful.

“We trust our partners, and we really wanted to leave it up to them to determine how to use the funds. The intention was that they be used to support any costs associated with reopening and the hopeful return to in-person programming for many organizations. Mostly, we wanted to be sure to provide enough flexibility so organizations could use the funds for whatever was most pressing for them. They were also meant as a show of support — to let organizations know that we see how hard they have been working and how much they have endured.” –Aana Lauckhart, program officer at Medina Foundation

Having leaders in our community like the Medina Foundation, the Silver Family Foundation and BECU set an extraordinary example that we hope others will follow. Stepping up and increasing support when so many others aren’t able to shows us the true meaning of community partnerships.

We continue to be amazed and inspired by the mighty work our nonprofit partners — like College Possible Washington — do day in and day out to move that work forward. Particularly in this moment in time.”

And this support has meant that we were able to support more than 1,000 high school and college students on their paths to a college degree. We have college students attending 97 colleges and universities throughout the country and 92% of high school seniors earned admission into college. Incredible work, students!

As we continue to endure this pandemic and work to find yet another “new normal” this year, we are so grateful to everyone who engages in the work to support students and their goal of graduating from college. If you or your company want to get involved, please reach out to our development director, Tierra Jones, to learn more: TJones@CollegePossible.org.

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