Shaima Shamdeen

About Shaima Shamdeen

Shaima Shamdeen is the Communications Coordinator at the Foundation for Tacoma Students. If you have news or stories you'd like to share with the Graduate Tacoma community, reach out to her directly at

Community Leader Spotlight: T’wina Nobles

Excitement poured out from the group of teenage girls as they each took turns holding different animals at the Tacoma Urban League office during a visit from Point Defiance Zoo. Bursts of nervous laughter fill the room as they each get ready to touch the soft, gray shelled crabs. Standing beside them, their mentor, T’wina Nobles, joins in the awe and curiosity of it all. “There’s so much in life that I don’t know that these experiences are mind-blowing to me,” says T’wina. “I’m not just teaching girls, I’m out [...]

Community Leader Spotlight: T’wina Nobles2019-09-06T10:19:15-07:00

Giving Kids a Summer Boost in Partnership

Nine-year-old Abigail Mulholland is putting together the final touches of her PowerPoint Presentation on Jeepneys. “They’re a type of transportation from the Philippines,” she explains. “They have been used since World War two!” Abigail has spent the last month researching and preparing for the project, which she will present in front of her parents, classmates and their families as part of Ms. Odom’s summer curriculum at Camp Discovery. She is one of nearly 700 Tacoma elementary students participating in the five-week summer camp hosted in partnership with Tacoma Public Schools [...]

Giving Kids a Summer Boost in Partnership2019-09-06T10:40:21-07:00

Parks are in for Summer Playground Program

Metro Parks Tacoma is joining the national effort to keep kids safe, engaged, and learning all summer long by providing six straight weeks of summer learning activities. The Summer Playground Program is an annual effort by the organization to prevent summer slide and raise awareness around the important role summer learning programs play in ensuring kids return to school in the fall ready to succeed. Each week, Metro Parks Tacoma will focus on a different theme: Space Hidden math Majestic mountains My neighborhood Futuristic friends Ocean to sound Each theme highlights [...]

Parks are in for Summer Playground Program2019-09-06T10:43:19-07:00

Students Recreate Apollo 11 Moon Landing with NASA Challenge

Students from fifth to 12th grades across Tacoma-Pierce County gathered at the Eastside Community Center last month to recreate the Apollo 11 moon landing for the Apollo Next Giant Leap Student Challenge (ANGLeS), a national competition sponsored by NASA. The challenge, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first human moon landing, challenged the nine participating teams to fly a drone carrying a lunar module and land it near the Apollo 11 landing sight on an image of the moon's surface. Students were encouraged to create an artifact that represented their [...]

Students Recreate Apollo 11 Moon Landing with NASA Challenge2019-09-06T10:45:40-07:00

Community Leader Spotlight: Pamela Porter

Pamela Porter, or Ms. Pam as her students call her, has been a program specialist at the Boys & Girls Club BOTT lab since 2018. Building Opportunity Through Technology, or BOTT, houses 23 computers where students explore programs catered to math, reading, science, and language art. Additionally, she volunteers as a Girls Scouts Troop Leader inside the BGC. Originally from Portland, Pamela moved to Tacoma in 2015 with her family, including twin sons Stephon and Sean who graduated from Lincoln High School in June 2019. In this Q&A, Pamela shares the [...]

Community Leader Spotlight: Pamela Porter2019-09-06T10:48:20-07:00

Planning for a Career with Next Move

Christian Isaac is a youth program director at the YMCA. It’s a career path he didn’t know he wanted until enrolling in one of the first cohorts of the Next Move internship program. The Washington State Legislature is considering raising the enrichment levy lid, which will help plug a $30M budget shortfall for Tacoma Public Schools. The Next Move internship program is one of many enrichment programs that those levy-dollars have previously funded. Through Christian Isaac and students behind him it’s also a bright example of collective impact at its [...]

Planning for a Career with Next Move2019-09-06T11:07:32-07:00

Partner Spotlight: Kim Keith of Hilltop Artists

Kim Keith is the Executive Director of Hilltop Artists, a role she has held since May 2017. She is also on the leadership team for the Out of School and Summer Learning Network (OSSLN), which she joined her first week as ED. Since becoming a partner she has served on the review committee for Summer Access Funds, helped plan and implement the Summer Learning Tour, and routinely provides guidance and support for the content and facilitation of the monthly OSSLN meetings. In this Q&A Kim shares why she is [...]

Partner Spotlight: Kim Keith of Hilltop Artists2019-04-25T10:11:41-07:00

Centering Youth in Local Government

Stella Keating speaking at a recent meeting of the Mayor's Youth Commission While attending Tacoma’s first Mayoral Candidate Forum on LGBTQ+ issues in 2017, then-candidate Victoria Woodards met a sixth grader with a clear vision for her community. “Youth are not included in the decisions and policies that impact our daily lives,” says Stella Keating, the now eighth grader who became the impetus for the Mayor’s Youth Commission, formerly the Mayor's Youth Taskforce. “Most adults don’t see kids and teenagers as leaders. I want that to change.” Announced [...]

Centering Youth in Local Government2019-04-25T10:42:35-07:00

Rodney Raccoon: Your New Favorite Children’s Book

Rodney Raccoon: Special Delivery follows Rodney and friends as they explore the wonders of the Dome-A-Roma Science Museum. They must find clues hidden through the woods, under the sea, and in the Arctic dome that will lead them to their final destination. The book is currently available for purchase on the WayOut Kids website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Graduate Tacoma Partner and member of the Early Learning & Reading Network, WayOut Kids has reached over fifteen million children since establishing in 2006 through community outreach and the development of [...]

Rodney Raccoon: Your New Favorite Children’s Book2019-04-25T10:53:34-07:00