Meet Uyen

When I came to the U.S. as an adult in 2015, I had to start everything over again for my new life. I went back to school because only education can make my dream come true. Since I have been a single parent, I understand that I need to be stronger, and I do not want to stop my studies again. I am a new student in the energy field now. I chose my concentration as Sustainable Power Systems. I want to learn about energy sources and how they work.”

-Uyen, Engineering, South Seattle College in King County

Meet Sarah

“I truly believe my GPA was because of this program. Having the childcare stipend helped make it possible for my toddler to be in childcare full time and that gave me the time to focus on my studies and self-care, so really, THANK YOU!!!”

-Sarah, Nursing, Pacific Lutheran University in Pierce County

Meet our soon-to-be graduates!

Throughout the school year, we’ve featured students in their last year of college. Julie, Ray, and Aminah are on their way to graduation day. Because of your support they are going to cross that finish line and into a career they are passionate about and one that can build brighter futures for their families.

 

Thank you for Giving JOYfully!

You brought the cheer and the JOY in 2021! Thank you for making the end of the year extra special for our families.

Overall, you supported 78 student parents and their children with gifts, books, and gift cards. This additional help kept our families going over the winter break.

We are so grateful to our volunteers for delivering the gift bags across the Puget Sound. And thank you to our sponsors, Capital One Cafè, Parker, Smith & Feek, Daymaker, and Dabbawalla for helping to put extra-big grins on the kiddos’ faces.

Happy New Year to everyone!

JOYful Giving Season

Goodwin’s JOYful Giving Season begins each year on #GivingTuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and runs through the end of the calendar year.

It’s the time when we celebrate all that you give to student parents, and all they give back in return. By giving generously this holiday, you’ll help our students share their gifts with the world. Your gift will brighten the holiday season for all of our Goodwin families, by providing them with gifts, grocery gift cards, books, and of course, access to affordable childcare.

Hear from Aminah, this season’s featured student parent, how Goodwin Connections has supported her family and her dreams of becoming a social worker.

Not long ago, Aminah was struggling under the weight of being a young mom, a military spouse, and caretaker to her nephews. A social worker from her kids’ school reached out and changed Aminah’s life forever.

Following the advice of this social worker, Aminah learned that it was okay to ask for help, and to continue to dream big and pursue her goals. Aminah recognizes that now, “It’s my time. It’s time for me to spread my wings.”

Aminah was so inspired by the gift this social worker gave her, she committed to paying it forward. She is now in her senior year at UW Tacoma, on track to earn a degree in social work. “I have to be what she was to me,” Aminah says of the woman who changed her life. She is looking forward to seeing the impact she can make on others in her career.



JOYful Giving 
is named in honor of our good friend and longtime supporter, Joy Goodenough. Joy always loved to donate to Goodwin Connections in honor of her loved ones at this time of year. Her legacy reminds us to do all things with great joy and celebrate the friendships in our lives.


A special thank you this year’s JOYful Giving sponsors, Capital One Café, Parker, Smith & FeekDaymaker, and Dabbawalla!

 

Viktoria

Viktoria is starting her senior year in her diagnostic ultrasound program at Seattle University. An immigrant from Belarus, she and her husband arrived in U.S. about five years ago and are working towards degrees in the healthcare field. Her daughter, Anna, will be starting Pre-K this fall.  Her ultimate career goal is to help diagnose congenital heart defects at prenatal and postnatal stages. Viktoria’s dream job is to help save babies’ lives.

“I can’t even imagine how hard it would be to go to college without Goodwin Connections’ support and assistance throughout my whole educational journey of a fresh immigrant, a first-generation college graduate, and a parent. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to persevere my career goals and the chance to change my life for the better.” ~Viktoria

Our students have many talents (beyond their academic achievements). Viktoria is also a very talented photographer and recipe developer.

We asked her to create a Happy Hour drink for the end of summer and she developed these beautiful and tasty creations for us. Take a look at Viktoria’s Instagram account for inspired recipes and incredible photos!

Strawberry Spritzer
Ingredients: (makes 1 serving)
4 oz. sauvignon blanc wine
1 oz. vodka
2 tbs rhubarb syrup (or agave nectar)
2-4 fresh strawberries, chopped
Club soda
Mint leaves
Edible flowers (optional)

Method:
In a tall glass, place strawberries and muddle them to release the juices. Add syrup, vodka, and wine. Stir the mixture with a spook. Add ice cubes up to the top of the glass. Pour in club soda. Garnish with mint leaves and edible flowers.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade
Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)
8 lemons, juiced, about 1 cup of lemon juice
3/4 cup agave nectar
4 cups water
12-15 strawberries, tops removed
A few more strawberries to garnish
1/2 cup fresh basil

Method:
In a tall glass, add the strawberries and basil.
Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture for about 20 seconds just until the mixture turns pink and the basil is finely chopped.

Juice the lemons and transfer the juice into a large pitcher. Add the agave nectar and the water and stir to combine. Add the strawberry-basil mixture. Let cool entirely. Pour over ice into the glasses and garnish with fresh strawberries and basil leaves.

 

Help is here…and more is on the way!

Our healthcare workers

Since the 1990s, Goodwin Connections has supported thousands of student parents with
childcare expenses, college tuition, and basic needs. Throughout that time, hundreds of current healthcare workers earned their college degrees. These moms and dads have been taking care of our community for many years including through the ongoing pandemic.

“Our student parents are incredibly resilient. They have come through the other side of whatever life has thrown at them and they are committed to finishing college and starting their careers,” says Rachel Sanchez, Program & Community Outreach Manager at Goodwin Connections. “Many have been moved by a caring nurse or social worker who got them through a challenging time and have been inspired to give back.”

As we look to the future, nurses, dental hygienists, respiratory therapists, mental health practitioners, and physical therapists will be in very high demand. It is more important than ever to support those who are going into these fields as the U.S. population ages and as healthcare workers retire.

“More than 50% of our current student parents will begin a healthcare-related career after graduation,” says Sanchez. “We’re honored to introduce this next generation—and we’re so inspired by what keeps them motivated, we’re dedicating this issue to hear straight from them. Please join us in thanking these future healthcare workers for their commitment to keeping us healthy and safe.”

“I have worked in the healthcare industry for 10 years now. My goal as a future nursing professional is to support my patients during their time of healing, and educate others to promote healthy lifestyles for our future generations.”
-Nicole, Pacific Lutheran University, Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing


“I was unsure of what I wanted to do, so I became a nursing assistant while working on my prerequisites. During that time, I realized nursing was the right career for me. I love helping people, even if it’s something simple and small. Nursing is such a rewarding
job and I wish I would have done this years ago. I will graduate in March 2021, and I am beyond excited to start my career.”
-Gabby, Shoreline Community College, Associate Degree, Nursing Read more.

Embeba

This month, we are featuring student parents from our Family Connections Program who are going into the healthcare field. We asked them what inspired them to become our community’s next nurses, respiratory therapists, dental hygienists, and mental health professionals. Here’s Embeba’s story, a mom of two, a student at North Seattle College, and a future nurse…

My father molded me to ensure academic success. His influence on my life has brought me to where I am today, a nursing student.

My father was an Eritrean soldier. In 2006, he became sick while he was forced to dig for gold by the Eritrean government for several months. They forced him to keep digging until he got really sick, and then they let him come home. 

After suffering for many months, my father died when I was barely 12. I was angered and saddened, and I thought that if I were a medical professional, I could give him the treatment he needed to save his life. 

His passing shaped my interest in becoming a future healthcare worker. Compelled to begin working in nursing, I am studying so that I can help spare other people from the same pain and loss.  

Since my father’s death, I have hoped to become a skilled and compassionate healthcare provider, and I have reached a pivotal moment in my career in which I am eager for further training and studies so that I can evolve into the medical professional that I envisioned when I lost my father.

With Goodwin Connections financial and emotional support, I have made significant achievements not only in my academics and professionally, but also in my personal life. 

I am currently working towards an Associate Degree in Pre-Nursing at North Seattle College which I plan to finish this quarterAfterwards, I plan to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and eventually a Master’s of Science in Nursing.

I am optimistic that these degree programs will open up rewarding employment opportunities, prepare me for a specialized career path, and offer networking opportunities. 

Regarding my professional endeavors, I am currently a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the Seattle Honor Foundation. Being a member of these organizations has enabled me to develop professional networking opportunities, college tuition scholarships, and professional recognition.  

Regarding my personal life, I am an active participant in my churchSinging in the church choir has helped to fulfill me spirituallyI have been able to serve humanity by assisting people to actualize their spiritual goals. 

I am also a mother of two little kids. Being a mother I have been able to acquire and develop qualities that I did not have before. I am more caring, patient, responsible, and loving. As a parent, it has enhanced my love for my own parents and has taught me to appreciate patience and sacrifice.  

Meet Our Student Parents and Program Alumnae

During It’s a Goodwin Lunch-in we introduced you to our student parents and caught up with parents who had been in our program. Here are their video highlights from the event…

Meet Shariffa

Meet Ruby

Meet April

Meet Lisa

Meet Robyn

 

 

Ariana

A soon-to-be graduate of Edmonds College, Ariana is receiving a full scholarship to attend Brown University in the fall, where she will receive her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. Ariana was also accepted to Seattle University, University of Washington’s Seattle and Bothell campuses, and Columbia University. Ariana was honored with Edmonds College’s Women’s Achievement Award and the Outstanding Mathematics Major Award for 2020.

What has your road to college looked like?

Straight out of high school at 18 years old, I was living on my own and working a full-time job. Despite these circumstances, I enrolled in community college and began my very short first college experience. I managed through my first quarter, but when winter quarter came, working, taking classes and trying to find stability in my personal life became too much for me to balance and I dropped out.

The next eight years were spent moving away from my hometown, having my two babies and getting married. With two babies’ futures to think about, in 2018 I started considering going back to school to get a degree. It was a daunting goal, and I knew that if I started taking classes, I had to finish this time around. After touring the campus, meeting with advisors and making a course plan, I knew I was ready to try again. In November 2018, I took the English and mathematics placement exams, and on January 2, 2019, I officially restarted my education journey at Edmonds College.
Read more.