Changing lives for this generation and the next
Seattle Milk Fund’s Family Connections Program empowers low-income families toward educational opportunities. Our program’s two-generational approach to lifting families out of poverty is a solution to our region’s rising living costs and the urgent need for a skilled and educated workforce. Our program is truly changing lives for this generation and the next.
The Family Connections Program supports the entire family. When families are accepted into the program, they become eligible for childcare or preschool tuition assistance for their children. By supporting low-income families with childcare and preschool expenses, it allows parents to attend college full-time, focus on their studies, graduate in a timely manner, and ultimately embark on a career that pays a living wage. At the same time, their children receive a quality early-learning opportunity–giving them a great start on their own educational journey.
Our program supports parents and their children from the first day they enter our program through college graduation day. For many of our student parents, they will become the first college graduate in their family. For all of our student parents, our program alleviates a major barrier toward completing their first college degree--the budget-breaking cost of childcare or preschool.
While in our program, all family members receive basic needs support including a volunteer advocate to cheer them on and provide resources as they take this important step toward a brighter financial future. In addition, student parents are offered professional development opportunities such as event networking, and job readiness workshops.
Our students are determined and hardworking. We are proud of our student parents’ 98% quarter completion rate and 3.6 quarterly GPA (as of winter quarter 2019). Our students give back to society and the local economy. Upon graduation, they expect to increase their earning power by more than 300%. 70% of our graduates earn STEM degrees. They become our community’s next nurses, teachers, accountants, scientists, engineers, and tech workers. All graduates of the program are invited to volunteer with the Family Connections Program by becoming advocates for current families.
In the fall of 2018, Seattle Milk Fund welcomed 51 households with 135 family members into its Family Connections Program. As part of our strategic plan to strengthen and grow our organization, we will increase the number of families supported to 65 in the fall of 2019.
In early 2018, we launched our Community Connections Program, which supported 40 individuals in its first year. This program makes meaningful connections with other family-focused organizations that support low-income families with the aim to inspire even more parents to enroll in college courses and support educational opportunities for children.
As one of Washington’s longest-running charitable organizations, Seattle Milk Fund has been fueling families’ futures since 1907. Since changing its program focus in 1965 to include education and childcare, Seattle Milk Fund has awarded more than $17M to local families.