What’s New2019-07-29T17:22:09-07:00

What’s new

Nearly $20k Raised for Teachers

Teachers are most often a young person’s closest source of opportunity and essential to the success of every child. The Teacher Impact Award grant was created by the Foundation for Tacoma Students in 2015 to support the creative ways teachers boost student achievement every day. Thanks to your support during the 2019 Cradle to Career Luncheon,  we raised nearly $20,000 for the Teacher Impact Awards! These awards offer teachers extra support to provide learning opportunities and supplies that amplify student progress.

Teacher Impact Awards can be used by teachers in almost any way to […]

By |October 31st, 2019|

Now Accepting Proposals! Community Learning Fund

In June 2019, the Foundation for Tacoma Students announced a one-time investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to deepen the capacity and capability of the Graduate Tacoma community-wide movement. This investment presents an opportunity to elevate our collective action through sub-grant funding in three investment areas and, most importantly, strengthen our ability to improve outcomes for all students. Honoring our shared learning agenda, we are calling this initiative the Graduate Tacoma Community Learning Fund.

This portal includes everything grant applicants need to successfully submit a proposal […]

By |October 7th, 2019|

Request for Proposals: Postsecondary Access Intermediary


The Foundation for Tacoma Students seeks a community based organization or institution to serve as a community intermediary to help lead and coordinate efforts to improve postsecondary pathways for Tacoma students, with a focus on system-related interventions and programs that directly impact postsecondary access and enrollment.


The Foundation for Tacoma Students (FFTS) is the organizational backbone of the Graduate Tacoma community-wide movement. In pursuit of our mission to help every child achieve success from cradle to college and career, we have spent the last nine years working to build a community that honors partnership […]

By |September 25th, 2019|

Meet the Staff: Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell is Project Manager for the recent investment in Tacoma by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, aimed at strengthening our ability to improve outcomes for our youngest residents — from cradle to career.
In this role, Ben will be supporting and working in partnership with the Foundation for Tacoma Students, Graduate Tacoma Partners and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to elevate the Graduate Tacoma community-wide movement in three areas: Community Partner Capacity and Capability; Data Capacity and Capability; and Postsecondary Access and Completion.
Prior to […]
By |September 24th, 2019|

From President & CEO Eric Wilson: In Gratitude

Dear Partners & Friends,
As Holly shared in her gracious letter earlier this week, the baton has been passed and I will officially resign as Founding President of the Foundation at the end of this month. I’m writing today to express gratitude to you and so many across this community who have helped build and strengthen the Graduate Tacoma movement since the beginning. Please forgive the length, but the list of thanks could go on for chapters.
It’s hard to believe it’s back-to-school for the graduating Class of 2020! When the Foundation began in 2010, […]
By |September 24th, 2019|

Transitions for President & CEO Eric Wilson

Dear Graduate Tacoma partners & friends,
As a school year full of promise begins for our community’s students, teachers and families, I am inspired by and grateful for the actions of so many people working together to ensure every child in Tacoma succeeds in school, career and life. On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Tacoma Students, the backbone organization for the Graduate Tacoma movement, I would like to share particular thanks for the bold leadership of founding President & CEO Eric Wilson and to announce his leadership transition from […]
By |September 24th, 2019|

Community Leader Spotlight: T’wina Nobles of Tacoma Urban League

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 there learning myself.”

The girls are […]

By |August 29th, 2019|

How Fab-5 is Creating Space to Celebrate Diversity

Tiffanny Hammonds, 22, works as the Fab-5 Space Manager and Visual Arts Teacher at their HQ in Hilltop, Tacoma. Tiffanny has been with Fab-5 for over 10 years and can even recount her first interaction with Fab in her home. 

“In essence Fab saved my life, because I never really knew that I could be an artist, you know?” says Tiffanny. “I never saw this for me, I never had that future planned out. I loved art but I never knew that I’d be an artist, and I didn’t figure […]

By |August 29th, 2019|

Tacoma Teens Win Regional Apollo Landing Challenge

Space is only 50 to 62 miles away depending on the measurement one uses. The cosmos is infinite and ever expanding. And yet, despite its size and relative closeness, the universe feels out of reach for many, a thing belonging to daydreams and childhood fantasies.

In the run up to the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the NASA-funded Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline, organized the Apollo Next Giant Leap Student Challenge (ANGLes). Among the project’s goals, “to increase pathway for students towards careers in STEM, particularly in underserved […]

By |August 29th, 2019|

Investing in Tacoma: Designing with Community

Friends and Colleagues,

As we roll out an important investment in the Tacoma community, we have already learned so much from leaders in the Graduate Tacoma movement who bring a wealth of expertise working with young people every day.

Last month’s info-sessions helped us further refine key components to the grant and subgranting process. We recorded a number of your questions, so that you can revisit our responses here. In a brief community survey, you also helped us better understand Tacoma’s greatest funding […]

By |August 29th, 2019|