White Center Promise is crowd-source fundraising for education programs/scholarships

White Center Promise, "aimed at eradicating poverty and promoting comprehensive, two-generational social change through educational improvement and opportunity," is teaming up with Highline Community College, and the crowd-funding website Indiegogo to raise funds for their program.

Here are the details from White Center Promise Director Laurie Bohm:

In partnership with Highline Community College (HCC), the crowd-funding website Indiegogo, and with support from PolicyLink, White Center Promise Neighborhood (WCP) is seeking funding to promote its new satellite higher education center effort. HCC will offer increased staffing and classes within White Center. WCP is using Indiegogo to raise funds from around the country to provide outreach coordinators and scholarships for its residents in order to promote the opportunity and enhance access to the courses.

The classes are already being offered at the local YWCA in a public housing community for residents who may normally find the distance between home and school a barrier to their education. Director of White Center Promise, Laurie Bohm, explains: “The importance of HCC working with us to support higher education for White Center residents cannot be overstated. White Center Promise wants to augment their efforts by ensuring the right outreach and incentives to reach those most in need of further education.”

White Center Promise’s Indiegogo campaign seeks a total of $65,000 in funds, of which $30,000 will go toward providing thirty scholarships for White Center residents in need. An additional $30,000 of the funds raised will go toward hiring three “college ambassadors” to provide outreach to local residents in regards to the new courses and serve as role models who know the challenges and benefits of higher education. The remaining amount will be dedicated to fees required by Indiegogo and shipping of perks.

For Bohm, the choice to use crowd-funding was an easy one. “Indiegogo allows us to connect with more people both in and outside of the community who can help us get this effort started. We anticipate leveraging this popular support to access other financial resources to sustain the work in the future.”

Crowd-funding websites such as Indiegogo are an increasingly popular way for individuals and organizations to raise funds for projects they’re passionate about; in part due to the added “perks” many campaigns offer in exchange for financial contributions. White Center Promise’s perks for contributors range from a White Center Promise T-shirt to a birthday party at a local roller rink to a private tour and tasting at a local microbrewery.

White Center Promise’s Indiegogo campaign, while being a current, trendy way to raise funds, represents the larger mission of the organization and its partners. Jeff Wagnitz, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Highline Community College, knows what White Center Promise is up against.

“At the same time that post-secondary education becomes more and more important in the workplace, it also becomes more costly and complicated to go to school. The White Center Promise effort is a great example of community groups joining forces to overcome obstacles—in this case, the obstacles of cost, distance, and navigation that keep people out of college.”

The Indiegogo campaign officially launches September 6th at WCP’s Promise Summer Celebration at Greenbridge Plaza. From 5pm-9pm visitors can enjoy $2 meals from local food trucks, entertainment, free backpacks for children and gifts for parents, as well as educational activities for all. Registration for the event can be found on their website at www.whitecenterpromise.org.

About White Center Promise Neighborhood: White Center Promise is a place-based strategy aimed at eradicating poverty and promoting comprehensive, two-generational social change through educational improvement and opportunity. Residents, community leaders, educators, public officials, CBO’s and institutions are working together to eliminate barriers to social equity and provide a strong foundation for family and student success. For more information, please visit www.whitecenterpromise.org.

For more information contact Laurie Bohm, White Center Promise Director at (206) 694-1082 x173 or Laurie@wccda.org.

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