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.


Graduation Days Are Here Again!

We are happily singing with excitement for our graduates this year! We are so proud of our student parents and their incredible accomplishments, especially under the most strenuous of circumstances.

Throughout it all, our student parents managed to keep an average cumulative GPA of 3.6. They truly amaze us with their academic accomplishments. Congrats to all!

Santosh, Seattle Pacific University, Accounting

Amber, Seattle Central College, Allied Health, Surgery Assistant

Rebecca, Seattle Central College, Applied Behavioral Science

Maria, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Architectural Tech

Melinda, UW Seattle, Business Information Systems

Kimcuc, Bellevue College, Business Tech

Jazmin, Everett Community College, Business Tech

Dahbia, Highline College, Chemistry

Sarah, UW Seattle, Chemistry

Christine, UW Seattle, Clinical Health Services

Emelyn, UW Tacoma, Community Planning

Mahiliet, Highline College, Computer Science

Marina, Renton Technical College, Computer Science

Robert, UW Tacoma, Computer Science

Carrie, Clover Park Technical College, Dental Associate

Tybrenna, Seattle Central College, Dental Hygiene

Larriett, Seattle Central College, Dental Hygiene

Alicia, North Seattle College, Early Childhood Education

Teresa, UW Seattle, Health Administration

Denise Nicole, ANEW, Masonry

Manuela, Pierce College, Mental Health

Ezinne, Seattle University, Midwifery

Socheata, Highline College, Network Security Engineer

Samantha, Pacific Lutheran University, Nursing

Briana, Pierce College, Nursing

Andrea, Shoreline Community College, Nursing

Dominique, Shoreline Community College, Nursing

Chelsea, Bastyr University, Nutrition

Olga, Edmonds Community College, Pre-nursing

Briana, Green River College, Pre-nursing

Embeba, North Seattle College, Pre-nursing

Gabrielle, Shoreline Community College, Pre-nursing

Jessica, UW Seattle, Public Administration

Linda, UW Seattle, Public Health

Ayan, Seattle Central College, Social Work

Sara, UW Seattle, Social Work

Angeline, UW Seattle, Social Work

Kelsey, Northwest University, Teaching

Analilia, Seattle Pacific University, Teaching

Lisa, North Seattle College, Ultrasound

Family Connections Program FAQs

Our Program & Community Outreach Manager, Rachel Sanchez, covers our program’s most frequently asked questions about our Family Connections Program for you! Watch the video and learn more about how Goodwin can help you finish your college degree by supporting your family with childcare costs and more.


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.

Getting creative with fundraising

Like many nonprofits, in-person fundraising events are a significant portion of our annual goal. Events allow us to gather in community with one another and celebrate the remarkable successes of the families we support.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to hold any in-person events due to COVID-19. And, as we move into the new year, we are looking for creative ideas and partnerships to support our fundraising!

We are grateful for our devoted volunteers and supporters who spread their passion for our program everywhere they go. These folks have helped keep the momentum going throughout the year.

• Goodwin’s volunteer wreath fundraiser brought out our cheerful wreath sellers who engage with friends and family to support Goodwin. Last year, volunteers raised more than $11,000 during their 2020 “socially-distanced” sale. Wreath seller extraordinaire Debbie Geddes’ motto is, “It doesn’t hurt to ask!” This is why she, Lynn Murphy, Sandle Dahl, Lisa Marx, Terry Dessert, Carolyn Baker, and Wanda Urquhart sold the most wreaths ever this year.

Kristin Affolter connected us with her car enthusiast group, the Northwest Alfa Romeo Club, a few years ago and Goodwin has been the beneficiary of their annual fundraiser for three years! Read more.


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.  

JOYful Giving Season

We invite you to join us in Giving JOYfully this year:

Read more.