Bridge to Finish
Supporting college students so they can focus on graduating.
Support this program
Poverty makes staying in school tough.
At community college—where more than half of the students live below the poverty line—staying in school can be especially challenging.
It is widely acknowledged that education is the best way to break the cycle of poverty. Yet living in poverty makes staying in college tough. Further, because of systemic racism throughout the education system, education opportunities for people of color are limited. Nearly half of our area community college students are people of color.
Community colleges are an affordable way for people to get a higher education, yet fewer than half of community college students earn a credential.
Further, the COVID-19 crisis demonstrated the importance of a college education. So far during the pandemic, the unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma has been roughly twice that of those with a bachelors degree at 9% and 4.8% respectively.
Bridge to Finish helps students get the services they need to stay in school and complete their education.
How It Works
There are 10 “Benefits Hubs” locations on community and technical college campuses throughout King County. Benefits Hubs are staffed by AmeriCorps members, who can also provide mental health and legal services resources. Each location offers services that include one-time emergency grants, housing support, tax help, food pantries and financial coaching to empower students to stay in school and complete their education.
1. Proactive efforts on each campus aim to ensure students know that if they need help, it’s available—from emergency grants to food and more.
2. If a student needs help, the campus location is a one-stop place for them to get it. Support is offered at convenient hours and in multiple languages. During the pandemic, help was available through an online portal.
3. Help is provided swiftly—from food being available to direct deposits of emergency grants, we know help often times can’t wait, so we provide it as fast as we can.
Bridge to Finish is currently on 10 campuses throughout King County:
Learn more about the Blake Nordstrom Scholarship for students receiving Bridge to Finish support.
Success to Date
students received support in the 2020-2021 school year to allow them to continue their education
connections to resources and support were provided (+10,000 since the previous year)
increase in education persistence rate for students of color (+9% overall)
of those supported were students of color
of students supported were parents
- Increase completion rates. We’re focusing on serving first generation students, students of color and working parents.
- Influence public policy. With so many students struggling with hunger and homelessness, we are advocating for all community college students to have the financial resources they need to persist and complete. This includes access to food, housing and emergency grants.
- Improve measurement. We’re working with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and have added a new measure to track completion rates of participants.
Bridge to Finish Honor Roll
With support from these generous donors, we are supporting college students so they can focus on finishing their education.
$1 Million +
- The Ballmer Group
- Brad Smith and Kathy Surace-Smith
- ECMC Foundation
- Premera Blue Cross
$100,000 – $499,999
- Carl and Renée Behnke
- Chris Capossela and Leigh Toner
- Craig and Joan Wrench
- David and Cathy Habib Foundation
- Don Guthrie and Candace Tkachuck
- Georgetown Brewing Company
- John C. & Karyl K. Hughes Foundation
- Jon and Bobbe Bridge
- Jon Fine and Paula Selis
- Laurie Minsk and Jerry Dunietz
- The Loeb Family Charitable Foundations
- Michael and Mary Kay Hallman
- Theiline P. Scheumann
- Michele and Stan Rosen
- Rajesh Jha and Sudha Mishra
- Raman Family Foundation
- Robert L. and Mary Ann T.* Wiley
- Sara Dickerman and Andrew Shuman
- Satya & Rao Remala Family Foundation
- Theresa E. Gillespie and John W. Stanton
- The Smith Family
- Wells Fargo
$25,000 – $99,999
- Alaska Airlines
- Bank of America Foundation
- Brooks and Suzanne Ragen
- Bruce and Jeannie Nordstrom
- Cassie and Chris Lenderman
- Chip and Julie Kelly
- Chuck Nordhoff and Maribeth O’Connor
- Doug and Barb Herrington
- Elizabeth Hebert and the Petunia Charitable Foundation
- Erin and Greg Coomer
- Farmers Life Insurance
- Janet Ketcham
- Jim and Mary Ellen Weber
- Kevin and Karen Smith
- Ric and Kaylene Anderson
- Sandy and Ben Margoles
- Starbucks Corporation
- Suzanne Ragen
- Todd and Ruth Warren
$5,000 – $24,999
- Adrian Hanauer and Khanh Tran
- Balasubramanian and Vimla Sriram
- Boh and Marilyn Dickey
- Chris and Becky Guzak
- Bradley Dillon
- Dave and DeeAnn Burman
- Dave and Kendra Millard
- Don and JoEllen Loeb
- Doug and Barb Herrington
- Gordon McHenry, Jr. and Dorina Calderon-McHenry
- Greg and Anne Adams
- James Solimano and Karen Marcotte Solimano
- Larry Engel and Kate Battuello
- Laura Karassik and Christopher Ramsborg
- Lucy and Herb Pruzan
- Maud and Marc Daudon
- Naria Santa Lucia
- Nathan Korpela
- Pamela Smith Mentz and David Mentz
- Radhika Arun
- Ramamurthy and Meera Suresh
- Safeco Insurance
- Seattle Credit Union
- Tom Rasmussen