On Saturday, the Why Not You Foundation (WNYF) and College Success Foundation (CSF) hosted an unforgettable evening to celebrate scholars, demonstrate the impact of education, and ensure students have the support, mentoring and services necessary to achieve their dreams. The Dream Big: Anything Is Possible event brought together an intimate group of thought leaders from the Seattle community to connect and discuss topics ranging from the challenges underserved students experience to the future of education. The event took place at The Boathouse on the shores of Lake Union and was hosted by WNYF’s Russell Wilson and Ciara and presented by HomeStreet Bank. Funds raised at the event will benefit the Why Not You Academy and College Success Foundation college-access and success programs.
The Dream Big: Anything is Possible initiative was created by the Why Not You Foundation in 2018 as a platform to inspire and drive change for youth in Washington’s diverse communities. Since its launch, the initiative has engaged and supported hundreds of students with programs and scholarships, and welcomed the first students to the Why Not You Academy.
“We were honored to co-host this special evening celebrating the Why Not You Foundation’s partnership with College Success Foundation and the transformative opportunities we’ve been able to provide to students together,” said WNYF’s co-founders Russell Wilson and Ciara. “It’s enduring partnerships like this that have enabled the WNYF to grow deep roots in the Seattle community which will continue to prosper and impact many more people for years to come. Seattle has a special place in our hearts and will forever be a place we call home.”
This ongoing partnership with College Success Foundation is just one example of WNYF’s sustained commitment to the Seattle community where it was founded in 2014. In just eight years they have helped raise over $10M for pediatric cancer research with Safeway Albertsons, opened the Why Not You Academy, a tuition-free charter school, and have inspired countless young people to realize their true potential and pursue their dreams. Alongside co-founders Russell Wilson and Ciara, the Why Not You Foundation will continue to work closely with its partners to strengthen the Seattle community and beyond.
“We are appreciative of Russell and Ciara’s dedication to supporting important education initiatives in Seattle,” said College Success Foundation’s President & CEO James Dorsey. “We prepare CSF Scholars with the academic, financial, social and emotional support they need to be successful in life, beginning in middle school and continuing through high school, college and beyond,” “We’re proud of the more than 11,600 CSF Scholars – and counting – who have graduated from college.”
Despite the extreme challenges facing underserved, low-income students, CSF educational attainment rates remain ahead of national benchmarks in all areas. To combat pandemic-created challenges, College Success Foundation is expanding this year to serve even more students in high school and college through the Rally for College initiative.
About Why Not You Foundation:
Founded in 2014, Russell Wilson and Ciara’s Why Not You Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty through education, empowering youth to lead with a why not you attitude. The foundation supports student access to equal education opportunities, children’s health and food security initiatives. Its mission is to equip today’s youth with the skills and opportunities to become tomorrow’s leaders. In Fall 2020, the foundation announced its first Why Not You Academy, a school that blends real-world applications with classroom learning. Learn more at www.whynotyoufdn.org.
About College Success Foundation:
College Success Foundation is a national nonprofit that provides a unique integrated system of supports and scholarships to inspire underserved, low-income students to finish high school, graduate from college and succeed in life. CSF serves students in public high schools and college campuses throughout Washington state and the District of Columbia. Learn more at collegesuccessfoundation.org.
Featured Photo: from left: Why Not You Foundation co-founder Russell Wilson, Why Not You Academy student Trinity, and Why Not You Foundation co-founder Ciara pose together at the Dream Big: Anything is Possible dinner on May 21, 2022 in Seattle. (Photo by Stephanie Cristalli)