2020

YEAR IN REVIEW

$895,169

Aligned Funding

1,795

Aligned Resources

3,743

Connections

182

Convenings

Advocating for Tacoma

This year, we expressed a renewed commitment to best understand the policies and structures that continue to create unsafe environments for our youth. In July 2020, we joined a coalition of eight organizations across the state to form the Washington Cradle to Career Advocacy Network. Our collective work aims to strengthen each of our community’s capacity to transform political structures in favor of kids and families.

 

A virtual 2021 legislative session provides us with great opportunity to better advocate for equitable policies and the reallocation, prioritization, and protection of public resources for our most marginalized populations. The Graduate Tacoma Advocacy Network  will be focusing on the following priority areas:

Lasting investments in quality early learning opportunities for more children.

Stabilize K12 budgets to protect school readiness.

Implement an "automatic opt-in" for the College Bound Scholarship.

Safeguard funding for community-based organizations offering youth development programs.

Community in Action

New Apartments for Housing Insecure Students

Tacoma Housing Authority and Koz Development announced a second apartment complex in early 2020 for students experiencing housing insecurity. The rent, subsidized by THA, includes utilities and high-speed internet. The Foundation for Tacoma Students manages a fund to help cover move-in expenses for students.

A Year to Catalyze Each Other

At the close of 2019, the Foundation for Tacoma Students announced a catalytic investment into the Graduate Tacoma community-wide movement. We spoke to five organizations participating in what is now called the Community Learning Fund. They shared how their work has become newly defined in the last year and signaled a turning point to double down on their efforts to be anti-racist.

Collaborative Action Network's Convene

Nearly 100 partners and friends of the Graduate Tacoma movement came together in a virtual All-CAN Convening to discuss strategies to support Tacoma students. Topics included: postsecondary pathways and entry into the workforce, racially just practices, data sharing and accountability, cross-sector alignment, and maintaining cradle to career progress.

Supporting Virtual Learning

With devices donated by Microsoft, the Foundation for Tacoma Students distributed 799 working devices to 173 partner organizations and 626 students, helping to relieve technology barriers during state-mandated school closures.

Class of 2020

For graduating students across the country — and their families — COVID-19 disrupted many milestone moments, including graduation. Despite the pandemic, celebrations continued with each school holding cap and gown car parades.

Community Learning Fund Cohort

Staff members from all 38 Community Learning Fund grantee organizations came together in early 2020 for a full day of deep conversation and brainstorming on how we can further shift systems in favor of kids and families.

Advocacy Day

Over 25 Graduate Tacoma representatives started 2020 by spending a day in Olympia meeting with members of the Pierce County Delegation and state agencies.

A directory of local Expanded Learning Opportunities and COVID-19 resources for students and their families.

An intro to high school guide for students and their families

A community effort to shift the math culture in Tacoma.

Data on historic rates for key Cradle-to-Career and Community indicators.

A college and career toolkit for students, parents and guardians.

A one-time investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to deepen the capacity and capability of the Graduate Tacoma movement.

Friday Forums

A live weekly web series, Friday Forums developed in response to Washington’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order established by Governor Inslee in March.

 

The series featured discussions with local leaders and organizers highlighting the state of Tacoma Public Schools during the pandemic, how to engage learners online, funding relief for community organizations, and more. 

Become an Anti-Racist Organization

An open letter from the executive director of the Foundation for Tacoma Students unapologetically making clear that our work will continue to support and improve the outcomes for students of color and those impacted by poverty by becoming an anti-racist organization.

65 Ways to be Anti-Racist in Tacoma

A collection of books, podcasts, documentaries, and more ways allies can take an active role in anti-racism, including local businesses and voices to support. To just not be racist isn’t enough, so here are 65 practical actions to fight against systemic racism and white supremacy. 

APRIL 6, 2021

GRADUATE TACOMA LEARNING CONFERENCE