Seattle Education Access

Soon to be Northwest Education Access

Innovator Track: Established Nonprofit

Fast Pitch 2020
Judges Distinction Winner

Meet the Speaker

Dulce Siguenza

Seattle Education Access, soon to be Northwest Education Access, provides free one-on-one support to young people (ages 16-29) as they navigate education systems throughout the greater Puget Sound region on Coast Salish land. We focus specifically on supporting alternative routes to high school completion and the transition into post-secondary pathways.

The young people we serve navigate complex education barriers that are compounded by inequitable access to basic needs including housing, mental health services, and childcare. They do this while experiencing institutional racism and surviving generational and historical trauma. Many of the young people we serve are considered ‘Opportunity Youth,’ meaning they are typically disconnected from school and/or work. Despite a range of backgrounds, our students all share a strong motivation to complete their education and demonstrate resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.

Innovator COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 has deeply impacted our community and beyond, and SEA students are no exception. We are seeing an increase in student job loss and a need for support for online learning, specifically with access to technology and navigating online learning systems. Some students are reporting that they have a financial cushion for about 2 weeks, but if COVID-19 continues to impact business closures, then we anticipate seeing an increase in requests for emergency funds to cover basic needs. We know that economic recessions are an especially hard hit to our students. We are working with funders to build up an emergency fund so that we can respond to student needs as best we can.

Like many nonprofits, we are unfortunately needing to cancel our in-person Graduation Party and pivot to an online campaign. While coronavirus is putting an end to graduation ceremonies, we have no doubt that as a community, with your support, we can find a meaningful way to support students.