Edmonds Community College President Dr. Jean Hernandez is one of three new trustees named to the College Spark Washington Board of Trustees. College Spark Washington is a private foundation located in Seattle that supports college readiness and retention for low-income students. Edmonds Community College received a $213,238 (over three years) Community Grant from College Spark for the Center for Efficacy and Resiliency to offer professional development for staff at Scriber Lake High School, an alternative public school in Edmonds.
Edmonds Community College President Dr. Jean Hernandez is a trustee of College Spark Washington.
College Spark Washington, a private foundation located in Seattle, announced grants totaling $948,277 to 12 organizations across Washington to support college readiness and retention for low-income students.
The transition between high school and college can be challenging for any student but is especially difficult for low-income students. Research shows that one out of five low-income students is prepared for college level work compared with over half of middle and upper-income students. And even when a low-income student gets into college, he or she is six times less likely to earn a bachelor’s degree than a more affluent peer.
“These 12 grantees represent the most promising college readiness and degree completion projects from nearly 50 applicants to the Community Grants Program,” says Gus Kravas, Chair of the College Spark Washington Board of Trustees.
Since 2005, College Spark Washington has granted more than $31 million throughout Washington state, with nearly $11 million directed to the annual Community Grants Program.
The foundation also announced the election of three new trustees: Trevor Greene, principal of Toppenish High School, Dr. Jean Hernandez, president of Edmonds Community College, and Bob Gilb, a former Microsoft executive and Captaris Corporation board member, now retired.
“We are pleased to have three distinguished education and business leaders join the College Spark Board of Trustees. Each of these leaders brings a unique set of skills and knowledge that will benefit the foundation’s work and mission. I look forward to accomplishing great things with them,” says Kravas.
“I also want to thank Charles Riley and Richard Rutkowski for their many years of service to College Spark Washington and their dedication to ensuring higher education access and success for Washington’s low-income students.”
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College Spark Washington funds programs across Washington state that help low-income students become college-ready and earn their degrees. Grantees include community-based organizations, K-12 schools and districts, community and technical colleges, four-year colleges and universities, educational nonprofits, and public agencies. College Spark began supporting access to higher education in 1978 by managing student loan programs. In 2004, the loan operations were sold and an endowment created supporting its grant-making mission.