LaunchNW Awarded $850,000 Grant by the Washington Student Achievement Council for Mentorship Program at Six Spokane County High Schools

LaunchNW Awarded $850,000 Grant by the Washington Student Achievement Council for Mentorship Program at Six Spokane County High Schools

Spokane, Washington, March 16, 2023 — LaunchNW was awarded an $850,000 regional challenge grant by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) to implement the Coordinated Community Mentoring Program (CCMP) at six high schools in Spokane County. In partnership with 15 local organizations, this program will focus on connecting low-income, BIPOC, homeless, and English language learning students and families with mentors offering support along the journey to post-high school education.

“LaunchNW and Innovia Foundation are thrilled that WSAC has chosen the Coordinated Community Mentoring Program for investment,” said LaunchNW Executive Director, Ben Small. “This program is a critical reflection of our community’s commitment to ensuring our young people have the support they need to travel their best journey to post-high school success.” 

United with a shared vision of increasing post-high school educational attainment for students across Spokane County, the partnership group began collaborating last fall. With a strategic approach of increasing peer-to-peer, near-peer, adult and family mentors, students and their families will have access to trusted guidance to support the college-going and career exploration process. The CCMP will be available for interested junior and senior students attending Medical Lake, East Valley, Riverside, North Central, Shadle Park, and University High Schools this fall. 

CCMP partners include Eastern Washington University, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest, Carl Maxey Center, Central Valley School District, Spokane Public Schools, Medical Lake School District, Family Promise of Spokane, Bite2Go, Greater Spokane Inc., Gonzaga University, Whitworth University, Communities in Schools Spokane County, East Valley School District, New ESD 101, Riverside School District, Slingshot, Hispanic Business Professionals Association, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington: Spokane/Gonzaga Family Haven, and LaunchNW. 

“Imagine being a child experiencing homelessness, sleeping in a car or a shelter, and moving from place to place. Now add the thought of going on to a trade school or college,” invited CCMP partner Joe Ader, Executive Director of Family Promise of Spokane. “Through the CCMP, combining mentorship with housing support for students experiencing homelessness will be a game changer. It will literally change the future for generations.”

“We are honored to work with LaunchNW and area partners on this vital initiative,” said Bailley Wootton, Director of Strategic Partnerships in Gonzaga University’s Center for Community Engagement. “We look forward to making a measurable difference for young people in our region.”

“Greater Spokane Inc. is grateful for the hard work and coordination of all organizations partnering on our WSAC Regional Challenge Grant to make a positive difference in the lives of students, families, and community members in the Spokane area,” said GSI’s Vice PresidentEducation and Talent, Dr. Christi Harter.

“We are excited to knit together resources for students, practitioners, and organizations. This investment in the region by WSAC showcases the power of collaboration to make lasting change,” said Grant Twitchell, a consultant with Cross Sector Impact and McKinstry, supporting Eastern Washington University’s Aspire near-peer mentoring program. 

EWU and the Aspire program are thrilled to scale the near-peer mentorship model to more students and schools in collaboration with LaunchNW and the Coordinated Community Mentoring Program. Eastern is committed to collaborating with regional stakeholders and community partners to better serve students and families as they work to achieve a family-sustaining career,” said Jasmin Davis, Aspire Manager at Eastern Washington University Student Affairs.

Learn more about this collaborative effort to expand opportunity and support for our young people below.