- Honor a friend or loved one with a donation to our program. We will send them a card and a small gift.
- Donate to our JOYful Giving Fund, and provide a gift card to help families meet holiday expenses.
We are so grateful to you for supporting our families at our very first Lunch-In. We have created a new gratitude list to celebrate you and your commitment to helping our families build brighter futures. Thank you!
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…
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.
Lynn and Don Murphy have supported our families for decades. Whenever we see Lynn, she is always quick to ask, “How are our families?” And we always get to tell
her about how amazingly determined our students and their children are. Lynn and Don lead with their hearts in everything they do, which makes them pretty darn incredible themselves.
Lynn and the Terese Smith Howard heritage circle are well known for their annual wreath sale, which last year raised a whopping $10,000 for our families! Lynn also currently serves on Goodwin Connections’ Advisory Board.
Last fall, we began surveying our students about their technology access and needs. We discovered that students were borrowing neighbors’ computers to complete assignments, using computers with cracked screens, and relying heavily on computer and printer access on campus. And, when college campuses closed this spring and went online, access to reliable and current technology became a barrier for students to complete their courses.
The timing of Goodwin Connections’ new partnership with Softchoice Cares could not have been better. Just before the COVID-19 crisis hit, we received $11,600 in funding to launch a Technology Fund for our student parents. In addition, just weeks after schools closed, Softchoice pledged to make an additional donation to support Goodwin Connections’ families.
As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic hit our region, you stepped up to help our student parents and their families. The Emergency Support Fund assisted students immediately with grocery cards, computers, wi-fi access, tuition and utility bills. And during May’s GiveBIG, more than $22,000 was raised to keep our parents on track to graduate this spring. You supported EVERY one of our 79 families during the spring during the spring quarter — and all 30 students who planned to graduate this year are graduating!
Much of the work that goes on behind the scenes is thanks to our volunteer board and committee members. Since January, the Goodwin Connections Board of Directors has welcomed new board members to the team. A warm hello to our new Board Vice President Yvonne Muench, and our new officers Annabel Quintero, Rocky Torres, Bill Benham, Robyn Duckett and Melissa Lewis! We will look to the board’s expertise as we embark on our next strategic plan in early 2021.
We are so grateful to our longtime Board member Jane Pedersen, who recently retired from the Board of Directors. We thank her for her dedicated service, enthusiasm for our mission and heartfelt kindness towards our families.
We met Raymond about 24 hours after his daughter was born. He had just come from the hospital for his initial meeting with us. He applied to our Family Connections Program months earlier, knowing that he and his wife, Althea, needed childcare if they were to keep working toward their degrees.
We said, “let’s reschedule”, but his response was, “this meeting can’t wait.”
Raymond had some time before he needed to be back home with his new little family. So we met with him and he was accepted into the Family Connections Program on the spot. He and his wife were laser-focused on earning their college degrees. The childcare assistance would help them stay the course.
Like many of our students, the road to college is not linear. Twists and turns, blockades and barriers make getting ahead even more challenging.
Raymond remembers his first, life-changing action after he was released from prison.
We are immensely proud of these 30 scholars who, despite increased challenges due to COVID-19, have made it to graduation day! Whether they’re continuing on to earn their next degree, or jumping into a new career, we know exciting things are in store.
Thank you to all who donated and supported Goodwin Connections this year.
Click on the video below to hear from, Tara, one of this year’s graduates.
To our Student Parents,
We want to acknowledge that these are incredibly hard times for many of you, especially our Black families. Like us, you are probably feeling sadness, anger, and frustration about the death of George Floyd, we are grieving with you and with our nation.
We wanted to let you know that we understand the challenges you face every day go far beyond the need for childcare, and to assure you that we see you, we support you, and we stand with you. Hatred and bigotry have no place in the Goodwin Connections Family or in the world.
Over the years, we have adapted to meet the changing needs of our families. Most recently, we’ve supported you through COVID-19 and will continue to do so. Now is another one of those times. We want to hear how we can help amplify you and your voices within our program and our shared community. Institutionalized racism hurts us all and we will not just be a passive supporter in the fight against it, but rather actively working against it.
We stand with our Black families. We are listening, we are learning, and we are ready to help make sustainable and meaningful change.
As always, please reach out if you need anything from us. We are here for you.
The Goodwin Connections Family