WASHINGTON OPPORTUNITY COUNCIL
For Immediate Release
May 14, 2018
Skagit County students to receive up to $1,192,000 in STEM and health care scholarship funding.
Innovative scholarship model aims to support and launch STEM careers for local students
Skagit County, WA – The innovative public-private partnership known as the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) announces its newest cohort of 1,862 Scholars — 53 of whom hail from Skagit County and are eligible to receive up to $1,192,000 in scholarship support to attend eligible universities and colleges in Washington state.
“We are thrilled to support this cohort of Washington state students ready to pursue a pathway to the jobs our economy needs,” said Naria Santa Lucia, executive director of WSOS. “Our unique suite of student support services coupled with financial support will prepare these students to be the future of Washington’s workforce.”
This cohort of scholarship recipients represents the seventh since WSOS was first created in 2011. The scholarship provides up to $22,500 in financial aid along with innovative student support services designed to reduce barriers for students from low and middle-income backgrounds to pursue a high-demand science, technology engineering, math (STEM) or health care degree and launch a career in Washington state.
This year’s applicant pool represents the most competitive yet with nearly 5,000 applications submitted – 1,000 additional applicants than the year prior. Local STEM Networks, in partnership with the statewide nonprofit Washington STEM, have helped raise awareness of WSOS in communities throughout the state.”
“This is a fantastic outcome for our students. 2018 was a record year for the number of Skagit students being accepted into the program (13 in 2016, 40 in 2017, 53 in 2018). This was also the first year that students from every school district in Skagit were awarded a scholarship. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the College and Career Counselors in each high school. They encouraged and supported students applying for the scholarship and did an outstanding job.“ said Michelle Judson, Director of the Skagit STEM Network.
Supporting STEM education across the state is critical to Washington’s future economy. Every region in Washington continues to grapple with a shortage of students graduating with the STEM degrees and training needed to meet employer demand. The unique model of private sector investment from companies like Microsoft and Boeing, matched dollar-for-dollar by the state of Washington is helping fill the gap; 92% of 2016 graduates were employed in their field or pursuing an advanced degree within nine months.
WSOS has supported more than 6,700 Scholars from every county and legislative district in Washington state to date. WSOS will serve 16,000 by 2025 thanks to robust public and private support.
WSOS is a unique, public-private partnership that provides low- and middle-income students with financial assistance, career services and other student supports. WSOS is committed to preparing our students to be the face of Washington’s workforce by reducing barriers to earning degrees in high-demand science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and health care fields.
About Washington STEM
Founded in principles of equity, partnership, and impact, Washington STEM isa statewidenonprofit amplifying solutionsthat bring the best STEM education to all Washington students, especially those historically underrepresented in STEM fields like students of color, girlsandyoung women, students living in poverty, and students living in rural areas.
About Skagit STEM Network
Using the principles of Collective Action, the Skagit STEM Network serves as a facilitator for STEM supportive activities to plug into and more effectively leverage their efforts across Skagit County. The Network focuses on preparing future generations for economic success and creating a greater connection between Skagit Valley students and local businesses through Career Connected Learning opportunities.
External Affairs Director
Washington State Opportunity Scholarship
Director of Communications and Policy
Director, Skagit STEM Network