Bringing education leaders together

In conversations we had with nearly 200 community members in 2022, which informed our current strategic focus, many pointed to our ability to bring partners together as a unique benefit the foundation offers. In response, we created an education roundtable and funders network in Washington state.
The Education Roundtable

We must all work together to advance solutions that help more students find successful pathways after high school. Our Education Roundtable—coordinated and facilitated by The Scholar Firstfeatures a diverse group of 40 students, teachers, principals, superintendents, statewide education leaders, education data experts, and nonprofit leaders aiming to do just that.

The Education Roundtable first met in November 2023. The Scholar First will continue to bring Education Roundtable members together to discuss and pursue the following goals:

  • Create a common definition of postsecondary success, and draft indicators and strategies that align to this definition. 

  • Learn from student insights to identify solutions that will help more students experience postsecondary success. 

  • Anchor the work in data so Education Roundtable members can advocate for proven solutions.

Meet the members of our Education Roundtable

Funders Network

Funders Network

We’re working with Philanthropy Northwest and College Spark to bring education funders in Washington state together to discuss emerging funding opportunities and identify where our resources could go further together. 

Our first Education Funders Network meeting was held in December 2023, where funders agreed that they all have a focus on student success and wanted to learn from each other, understand what other funders are doing and what data they use to make decisions, and identify places where they can co-fund projects or collaborate.

The Funders Network will continue to meet in 2024 and look for these collaboration opportunities. The first meeting of the year will focus on discussing statewide education data and what policies and programs could help improve student outcomes.

Blog & Resources

An Education Roundtable member standing next to a presentation board.

November 2023 Newsletter: Meet our Education Roundtable

We must all collaborate to give students access to the opportunities they need to design the future they want.
Angela Jones, Director of the Washington State Initiative, takes to the stage during the Washington State Initiative Launch in Seattle, Washington, on June 14, 2023.

September 2023 Newsletter: How education can be more student-led

As another school year kicks off, we must not only focus on listening to students but also giving them power in decision-making on education issues.
Lilliane Ballesteros, Executive Director, Latino Community Fund

Washington state leaders reflect on Hispanic Heritage Month

For this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month, we caught up with a couple of these leaders to learn about the issues facing Washington’s Latino community, their connections to this month, and their own inspirations.

Washington State Education Other Areas

Expanding evidence-based solutions
We help launch and grow statewide programs that are proven to help students pursue college and career pathways—such as high-quality advising and dual credit.  
Supporting local partnerships
We launched two grant programs that focus on listening to and partnering with local organizations who know their communities best to understand where we can make the biggest impact.
More about our work

More about what we do

Community Engagement
In the greater Seattle region, we provide flexible funding to strengthen local nonprofits and help them address emerging community needs—like housing security and homelessness.
Charter Schools
We believe high-quality charter schools—which are free and open to all—are an important part of Washington’s public school system, giving families additional options to help meet the needs of all students.
Washington State Education
Nearly 90% of Washington’s high schoolers say they want to continue their education after graduation, but only 50% enroll in postsecondary programs today. We’re working with partners to change that.