College Spark E-Newsletter

College Spark Washington funds programs across Washington state that help low-income students become college-ready and earn their degrees.

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A March op-ed in the Puget Sound Business Journal by Board Chair Gus Kravas describes the challenges low-income students face to access college.  

 April 17, 2012
College Spark Washington announces nearly $1 million in community grants


College Spark Washington recently announced grants totaling $948,277 to 12 organizations across Washington to support college readiness and retention for low-income students. 


The transition between high school and college can be challenging for any student but is especially difficult for low-income students. Research shows that only one out of five low-income students is prepared for college level work compared with over half of middle and upper-income students. And even when a low-income student gets into college, he or she is six times less likely to earn a bachelor's degree than a more affluent peer.


"These 12 grantees represent the most promising college readiness and degree completion projects from nearly 50 applicants to the Community Grants Program," says Gus Kravas, Chair of the College Spark Washington Board of Trustees.


Since 2005, College Spark Washington has granted more than $31 million throughout Washington state, with nearly $11 million directed to the annual Community Grants Program.

College Spark elects new business and education leaders to board of trustees


College Spark Washington recently announced the election of three new trustees: Trevor Greene, Principal of Toppenish High School, Dr. Jean Hernandez, President of Edmonds Community College, and Bob Gilb, a former Microsoft executive and Captaris Corporation board member, now retired.


"We are pleased to have three distinguished education and business leaders join the College Spark Board of Trustees. Each of these leaders brings a unique set of skills and knowledge that will benefit the foundation's work and mission. I look forward to accomplishing great things with them," said Kravas.


"I also want to thank Charles Riley and Richard Rutkowski for their many years of service to College Spark Washington and their dedication to ensuring higher education access and success for Washington's low-income students." 
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