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 providing them with gifts, grocery gift cards, books, and of course, access to affordable childcare.

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

Read more.

Meet Shirley

Raised by her grandmother in Guatemala, Shirley was constantly inspired by her grandmother’s love of community and her overwhelming propensity to give back.

After arriving in the U.S. as a teen and encountering many challenges, two of Shirley’s biggest dreams are about to come true, graduating from the University of Washington and becoming a social worker.

As a college student who is parenting, Shirley feels the tension between taking courses full-time and being a mom to a 1-year-old. Shirley is so close to graduation day, and Goodwin Connections and its supporters will be there for Shirley to act as an extension of her family’s support system these last few months.

Goodwin helps Shirley with more affordable childcare that allows her to attend school full-time and complete her social work practicum at El Centro de la Raza, a community-based, Latino-led organization where Shirley received support services as a teen.

By providing assistance with out-of-pocket childcare costs, supplying basic family essentials, and offering career development opportunities, Goodwin meets student parents where they are and supports them in where they want to go.

We are honored to share Shirley’s inspirational story of dreaming big and giving back.

Donate today! Your gift will go directly toward supporting student parents and families like Shirley’s, who are working hard to create brighter futures.


Meet Viktoria

Viktoria came to Goodwin four years ago as a recent Belarusian immigrant trying to create a better life for her young family. Back in Belarus, she had been a healthcare worker in infant cardiac care. But here in the U.S. she discovered that her medical credentials and schooling units had no academic value and she had to start again at square one.

After a long road and hard work, Viktoria is graduating this spring with a bachelor’s degree in diagnostic ultrasound from Seattle University and will start her career, where she will once again be able to save babies’ hearts and 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.” –Viktoria

Goodwin is incredibly proud to be able to support Viktoria as she applies her skills and talents in a field so important to her, and that so many babies and their families will benefit from her training and expertise in the future. Many Congrats to Viktoria and her daughter on their graduations. Her daughter, who we met when she was 1, is graduating preschool this spring and is more than ready to start kindergarten this fall.


Meet Elena

Thanks to support from her loving family and the Goodwin community, Elena is on her way to achieving her dream career in construction management. It’s a journey she started years ago, in her home country of Colombia, and is now within reach as she looks to complete her associate degree in Spring 2022.

We sat down with Elena to learn more about her journey so far and what’s on the horizon. Read more.

Strength, in their words

Our student parents inspire us every single day. Each year, 96% of student parents in our program stay on track to graduation day. Their personal courage and love for their children matched with their persistence and resourcefulness keep them focused on building brighter futures for their families.

Twice a year, we welcome new student parents into our program, and every quarter, we witness parents graduate college and embark on their new careers. The coordinated ebb and flow of our program keeps us in a positive forward motion— welcoming new families and celebrating the triumphs of our grads as they finish their degrees and land new jobs.

Read more.

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!


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)

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

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.