By Jake Riddell, WGU Washington
WGU Washington students and graduates help make our state a great place to live, work and raise families. Not only does our university’s Community of Scholars Series celebrate the many ways Night Owls make a difference, but it also provides a platform to give back to the local community.
During our latest Community of Scholars event, we were joined at Kent’s Airways Tap Room and Brewery by representatives from Communities in Schools (CIS). That organization provides Washington’s youth with resources to help them stay in school and succeed in life.
“Thousands of kids across the state carry adult-sized burdens into the classroom: poverty, homelessness, family challenges, the emotional effects of trauma,” said Nicole Lee, Development Manager for Communities in Schools of Washington. “CIS helps address these issues so that students can focus on learning and their goals for the future. When kids feel supported and cared for, you can see them smile bigger, walk taller, and say ‘I can do it!’"
WGU Washington shares many of CIS’ values. Like CIS, our online, nonprofit university lowers barriers to learning opportunities and helps change lives through the awesome power of education. It made complete sense our organizations would partner to support young students in King County and across the state.
“Our Community of Scholars event provided an excellent opportunity to hold a school supply drive,” said Constance Kronlund, Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager for WGU Washington. “WGU students and grads – plus their guests – brought many of the items kids need to succeed in school but families can’t always afford. It was moving to see such an outpouring of kindness.”
The drive collected 78 backpacks and 165 other school supplies, including binders, notebooks, and pencils. Those items will go to students in CIS programs across Washington.
“The heart of our programs is connecting kids with the caring adults and resources they need to succeed,” said Lee. “Community partners like WGU Washington are integral to bringing communities IN schools, for kids!”
To get involved with CIS and help foster academic success for thousands of young people, visit the website www.ciswa.org. You may also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow CIS on Facebook @cisofwashington.
And look here to see pictures from WGU Washington’s recent Community of Scholars event.