Tu, a current student grantee, spoke during our 2017 Annual Meeting & Brunch. Thank you, Tu for sharing your story.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I am currently a student grantee in Seattle Milk Fund’s Child Care Grant Program. My son and I have benefited greatly from your generosity in the last year. The grants have allowed me to attend and finish my degree at the University of Washington—Seattle, and for my son to attend after-school care at his elementary school. I will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a teacher preparation option this summer, which I can follow to receive my Master’s in teaching.
My educational journey begins in Vietnam, where I was born. Throughout my schooling in Vietnam, I was an honors student and received high marks, especially in math and science. However, the schooling system in Vietnam is very competitive, and I struggled with not fitting in culturally. At age 14, I looked into leaving my country and was accepted to a high school in Australia with a full-tuition scholarship.
When my scholarship ended, I returned to Vietnam to attend an international high school for a short time. I applied for a student visa to attend an American college. I was accepted at Green River College and received my high school diploma and an Associate degree in science. I graduated with the highest honor and I received a scholastic award and scholarship to continue my education. This was a glorious moment for my family and me because I am the first person in my family to achieve this level of education.
After graduation, I began an internship, got married, and my son was born. For years, my ex-husband was physically and mentally abusive to me. After banning me from attending school and giving countless threats to deport me without my son, we divorced.
My education journey was stalled after my divorce, because of financial hardship. At one time, I wanted to be a doctor. But, because of my son, I have since decided to become a teacher. He is my passion. I now seek to educate younger generations to help them with their own schooling and to inspire them to become future leaders with good moral character.
As I look back on my schooling. I find comfort and pride that I have prioritized education for my family. My mother taught me from a young age that, “Knowledge from education is the only property that cannot be stolen.” I am a survivor. And, now we are thriving with the opportunities we have been given.
I thank you for supporting my family as I finish my Bachelor’s degree and continue my journey to become a teacher.
Thank you to the Terese Smith Howard Circle for hosting this year’s annual meeting and brunch. The morning celebrated our 110-year history and the future plans of our spring and summer graduates. Our guests heard from a current student grantee, Tu. You can read her remarks on our Personal Stories page.
Please enjoy the photos from the event on our Flickr page.
Since 1990, Seattle Milk Fund has honored one of its own with the Fruit & Flower Award. The name of the award harkens back to a time when Seattle Milk Fund delivered fruit and flowers to those recovering in local hospitals. This year, Seattle Milk Fund volunteers named, our 30th recipient, Carol Wollenberg as the 2017 Fruit & Flower Award Honoree! Carol’s devotion to the Seattle Milk Fund and the families we support is unparalleled. As one of Seattle Milk Fund’s longest running presidents in its 110-year history, Carol volunteers on the Finance Committee, DevComm Committee, and the Program Committee–where she currently volunteers as a Student Advocate. Thank you, Carol for all that you do for Seattle Milk Fund. We sure are lucky to have you as a kind friend and Seattle Milk Fund specialist!
A few weeks ago, we had a visit from David. He stopped by to thank Seattle Milk Fund with a donation–he wanted to give back and show his appreciation. Several years ago, Seattle Milk Fund had given him a grant to help him in his first year at the University of Washington. He said the education award was particularly helpful at a time when he needed it most. He had just lost his father.
As David told his Seattle Milk Fund connection story, it was revealed that his family had another historic connection. In 1966, his father, Tom, had won 2nd place in Seattle Milk Fund’s Salmon Derby. The Salmon Derby was a very popular fishing contest and fundraiser for Seattle Milk Fund back in the day. He received $250 in prize money for his spectacular “catch.” Tom was very proud of his winnings, as they had meant a great deal to his wife and family.
Seattle Milk Fund continues to support multiple generations, because our child care grants benefit the entire family. While parents are attaining their first college degree–which will assist them their future career; their children are receiving a valuable early-education experience that they might not otherwise have access to–which will give them a great start on their own educational path.
We are always touched by stories of how Seattle Milk Fund has made a difference for so many families in the Seattle area. Please consider a donation in honor of a loved one or sharing a love note to Seattle Milk Fund by submitting a story, anecdote or memory to our storybank. We would love to hear from you!
Dear Friends of Seattle Milk Fund,
Seattle Milk Fund is holding a Holiday Family Support Drive to provide our families with personalized holiday baskets in celebration of the holidays and New Year. Our families rely on the year-round support they receive from our donors, especially at the end of the year.
Seattle Milk Fund students are determined and ambitious (they have a 95% success rate and average a 3.5 quarterly GPA while in our program). Many have full- or part-time jobs. All are parents.
Our families are trying to make ends meet every day. Seattle Milk Fund child care and family support grants help parents get ahead in life and in their careers. When parents complete their first higher education degree, they can begin working at a higher paying job. This translates to stronger financial futures for our local families. The grants also give their children a great start in life by receiving a valuable learning opportunity that they might not otherwise have.
We are raising funds to purchase gift cards so that parents can purchase gifts, food, or basic need items for over the holidays. These gift cards will be placed in a basket along with cards and personalized stocking stuffer-like gifts for everyone in their family.
Wreath sales are open now through Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. If you have any questions about your order, please contact our office at 206-526-7944.
Thank you for supporting our families, and may you have a lovely holiday season!
- Wreaths are $25 each.
- On the online order form below, please multiply the number of wreaths you would like to order by $25, and place that dollar amount in the box provided under the donation section.
- Also, please note in the comments how many wreaths with GOLD, RED, or PLAID bows you would like to order.
Wreaths will be available at the Seattle Milk Fund office the week of Nov. 28, 2016. If you would prefer delivery, please connect with your Seattle Milk Fund Wreath Sales Representative to confirm the details.
Order by mail…
Prefer to mail in your order with a check? You may download a wreath flyer/order form.
Our great appreciation goes out to the Terese Smith Howard Circle for donating their time and (tremendous wreath-decorating talents!) by hosting the annual wreath sale to benefit Seattle Milk Fund families.
This spring and summer we have 14 students graduating!
Congrats to all of our graduates. You have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to get your degree. We wish you well on your new careers and we send our love to your families.
Amal – Nursing
Carmin – Sociology
Chelsea – Business
Christopher – Computer Science
Djaouida – Neurodiagnostic Technology
Grace – Social Work
Jamie – Nursing
Lydia – Speech and Hearing Sciences
Mariam – Medical Assisting
Melissa – Nursing
Rebecca – Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior
Shawna – Social Welfare
Sabrina – Science, Technology, and Society
Valeria – Early Childhood and Family Studies