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.
As 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!
“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.
We were so 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.
“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
We recently received this note from John, now a Seattle Milk Fund alumni:
“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!”
On a windy evening in the summer of 1992, Zuhra, along with her mother, six sisters, and brother, fled their home in Kabul City, Afghanistan. The civil war had caused them to leave abruptly and find safety in a province north of Afghanistan. What she and her family thought would be a couple of months of refuge, turned into decades of living as refugees and immigrants in different cities across the globe.
Zuhra reminisces about her home, “I have memories of my neighborhood, friends, classmates and our green lawn where we would play with our cousins. I remember a huge house, a happy family, a cohesive community, our local market, a family doctor who knew how to pronounce my name and my mother’s delicious meals.”
Her father had left the family earlier and found asylum in the Netherlands. They would be apart from their father for nearly a decade. Read more.
Seattle Milk Fund is delighted to welcome Elizabeth, into the Child Care and Family Support Program, as a new grantee. Elizabeth’s education journey is one of love, inspiration and determination.
A few years ago, Elizabeth and her fiancée decided to have a baby. Having a baby changes your life, and it couldn’t have been truer for Elizabeth and her fiancée. About 10 hours after her daughter’s birth, Elizabeth noticed her daughter was having a seizure. The nurse thought it was just a fidgety newborn moving about, but her mother’s intuition and experience with her own epilepsy told her something else was going on. Elizabeth asked the nurse to check on her and they witnessed four more seizures. Her seizures had been a sign of a stroke, and two days later she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Read more.
Growing up in California, Lindsay was surrounded in her youth by neighboring children and families, her own including a mother with a junior high education, a father whose early career in the Air Force, followed by a business degree, blossomed into thirty plus years with Haagen Dazs, and five siblings, with Lindsay in the middle.
Lindsay’s hometown in Tulare County boasts being our nation’s second-leading producer of agricultural commodities. The county’s demographics are sprinkled with migrant laborers, and individuals and families facing challenges including poverty, high unemployment rates, (the highest in California), low education attainment, hunger, and California’s number one highest teen birth rate. Read more.