Katy

Katy spoke at our 110th Grand Birthday Gala. She and her husband attended the event to thank Seattle Milk Fund supporters in person for providing child care grants while Katy attends the University of Washington.

Read below for her story and heartfelt remarks…

Hello, I’m Katy. I am here tonight to thank you for your generous child care grant. I also want to tell you more about myself to help explain why furthering my education will mean so much to my family’s future.

As a family of 3 who is trying to get ahead…it has been difficult. Our financial situation is less than ideal. My husband works very hard to support us and takes overtime shifts at a job that pays a little over minimum wage. My degree will mean a more stable financial future for me, my husband, and our little boy.

My road to higher education has had a few twists and turns. And, thanks to the support of family, friends, and now Seattle Milk Fund—my long-time dream of becoming a psychologist is inching closer to reality with every paper I turn in and every exam I take.

Beginning at an extremely young age, I was a perfectionist and I strived to be the best. This led me to some of my most amazing achievements, along with many hardships and pain. When I was 12, I almost lost my life to manic depression, compulsive exercising, and severe Anorexia Nervosa.

I conquered the disease with much thanks to a wonderful psychologist who would not give up on me. The medical department at Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington played a huge part in my recovery. I believe I am alive today because of their help and the support of my family and friends. Since then, I have committed to help other people fight eating disorders. While continuing to battle my own demons, I have found that volunteering my story to help others has had a huge impact on keeping myself healthy along with contributing to my success.

After I graduated high school, I had an opportunity to pursue a passion of mine, acting. So, off I went to California…and for several years I was a successful actor. However, the lifestyle and film industry took its toll and lead me to an unhealthy state of mind. Realizing this, I came back home to my family and friends in the Pacific Northwest to pursue my original goal of becoming a psychologist.

Because of my exposure to doctors when I was a teen, I’ve known for a long time now that I wanted to be a psychologist. I want to help others who are struggling with their mental health and to fight mental health stigmas.

I married my wonderful husband a few years ago and had my beautiful son. While being near my support system has been what I needed to move onward and upward with my life…we continue to find that making ends meet is extremely difficult without a higher education degree.

My husband and I have this amazing little man and we are hoping to do the best we possibly can for him and by him. This grant will ensure that my son receives the best possible education and guidance for his social, emotional, and physical development. Thanks to YOU, my bright and loving son will be prepared to succeed in Kindergarten in a few years.

Attending Bellevue College was a smart and financially savvy decision for getting my Associate of Arts degree. I was able to finish my prerequisites while taking some amazing courses in psychology and social sciences.

I began taking classes at the University of Washington—my dream school—a few weeks ago. I am officially working toward my bachelor’s in psychology and it feels like this is the right place for me. My ultimate education goal is to receive a doctorate in Psychology.

I want to thank you with all my heart for this opportunity. You are helping to make my dream of becoming a psychologist a reality. Your support means so much to my little family.

Thank you.

Tu

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.

Shawna

Seattle Milk Fund pays for childcare so low income parents can afford college

Seattle Milk Fund pays for childcare so low income parents can afford college

Bryn

Bryn
Bryn, a current student

Thank you to Bryn, a current Seattle Milk Fund student who graciously accepted an invitation to speak to our guests at our Seattle Milk FUNd event in April. Here is the speech she shared with the audience.

It is such a pleasure to be here tonight to share my educational journey with you.

As a fair warning – this speech might involve some tears, but don’t worry, they are tears of honor and joy as I reflect upon some of the lowest and most terrifying moments of my life and realize how far I have come. They are tears of appreciation as I realize that I would not be where I am today without the support from people like you, and programs like the Seattle Milk Fund. Read more.

Ciana

CianaAs we move into the holidays and CookieFest, we wanted to highlight a previous Seattle Milk Fund recipient. Ciana is a recent graduate of South Seattle College’s Pastry and Baking Arts Program. After graduation she began working as a production baker at Tom Douglas’ Dahlia Workshop, one of Seattle’s most highly-regarded bakeries. Way to go Ciana!

“Seattle Milk Fund made it possible for me to pursue my love of baking, and for my children to receive an early education. Our family is so grateful.”

Both South Seattle College and Tom Douglas Restaurants will be at CookieFest this year with their delectable treats to support families like Ciana’s. Thanks!

 

Cristian

“Without Seattle Milk Fund’s support I would not have been able to engage in research and make significant progress with my Bachelor’s Degree and make some cool contributions to science.”-Cristian, current University of Washington-Seattle student

Cristian is a McNair Scholar studying microbiology with an interest in public health. He hopes to go on to graduate school and receive his PhD. He works at the Center for Infectious Disease Research running his own independent project deciphering current known P.falciparum [malaria causing agent] virulence factors such as PfEMP1 proteins structure and function while the larger focus is on developing approaches to uncovering innovative immune evasion strategies to aid in vaccine design. Cristian is working simultaneously at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation conducting surveillance on dengue in addition to infectious disease modeling and forecasting.

Read more.

Tierra

We were Tierraso pleased to hear from our student speaker, Tierra, during the recent Seattle Milk Fund Benefit Luncheon. In Tierra’s own words, here is her inspiring story.

I am a fighter! I would not have believed that about myself four years ago. But, as it turns out, I am a fighter. I have been through a lot in my life. And these obstacles have made me stronger.

Before I went back to school, I worked full-time at the mall as a security dispatcher. It was the same routine every day and I did not enjoy what I was doing.

My educational journey began in winter of 2010. I had just been laid off and figured I would go back to school. I started off at Edmonds Community College. I was on the Dean’s list every quarter—I did very well.

In the midst of my education, there was a part of me that was having a very hard time coping with the traumas of my childhood and those issues came out in addiction problems that I had. I took a medical withdrawal and got into treatment.

My daughter stayed with her grandma for three months while I got better. It was the longest we had ever been away from one another. It was so difficult. We missed each other terribly.

Read more.

Grace

GraceOur student, Grace–who is working on her Bachelor’s in social work–was just notified that she will be receiving a Washington Women in Need scholarship for this academic year.

Over the summer, Grace had an incredible opportunity to work in Ghana on the Child Labor Project, which is addressing child trafficking in the fishing industry.

Thanks to WINN for recognizing Grace with this scholarship. She is truly an awesome woman.

Christopher

_DSC5367“I could not begin to express the gratitude that I have for the Seattle Milk Fund and their mission. My family and I look forward to interacting with this organization as the years progress and as such are dedicated to being aligned with the mission. We also look forward to volunteering for this organization in the future and hopefully, with some success in education, yearn to provide our own economic dividends in the future such that we may help another family like ourselves.” – Christopher, UW Bothell student

 

John

We recently received this note from John, now a Seattle Milk Fund alumni:

_DSC2942-Edit - Copy“I feel incredibly fortunate to be where I am now. After finishing high school, I spent 9 years working as a union carpenter. It was a pretty good job, and the money was good enough that it was hard to quit. I was laid off around 3 ½ years ago, and I started school mostly for something to do while I waited for business to pick up. Of course I was hoping that it would work out, but I didn’t see how we could get by without my income. Amazingly, it has all worked out, even with 2 little kids. The Seattle Milk Fund and the UW childcare assistance subsidy have paid a majority of our childcare costs. Now I’m less than two weeks away from a degree and a new career as a software engineer (and a big pay raise!). I don’t know how to thank you guys enough!”