WE are in this together

Education First

Whether it’s supporting a good cause or providing financial education resources where they are needed, WECU is deeply committed to its mission of making a meaningful difference in the lives of its members and the communities served.

In September 2019, WECU awarded $110,000 to Whatcom Dream, BAAY, Lummi Youth Academy,
and the Opportunity Council in inaugural Education First Grants.

2019 Recipients

We’re honored, through our Education First Grant program, to support local organizations working to advance education in our community. Recipients are selected through a panel review process, considering many factors and their commitment – just like WECU – to make a meaningful difference.


One of three branches of BAAY, EduArts provides afterschool enrichment activities, bringing affordable arts education to public schools. The program includes elements of theatre, improv, visual arts, choir, guitar, and creative dance and is present in 10 local elementary and middle schools. (pictured: Reid Frederick, Director of Community Impact, WECU and Ian Bivins, Executive Director, Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth (BAAY))

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Lummi Youth Academy

Residential shelter for vulnerable adolescents and young adults at risk of homelessness or experiencing adversity at home. Residential aides, an academic team, and medical professionals support youth by promoting a safe housing and learning environment, which is located directly across from K-12 Lummi Nation School. (pictured: Lummi Youth Academy representatives (left to right) Lorayne Dennis, Director of Youth Program Services, Tammy Cultee, Program Manager, Kayani E., Student, and Candice Wilson, Executive Director, Lhaq’temish Foundation)

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Opportunity Council

Provides multi-generational financial literacy to income-eligible families. Adults participate in an incentivized savings program to meet predetermined goals while receiving mentorship and peer support. Children ages 3-5 enrolled in pre-school services receive age-appropriate financial education. (pictured: Reid Frederick, Director of Community Impact, WECU and Rochelle Perigo, Program Specialist, Opportunity Council’s Project X-It)

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Whatcom Dream

Creates poverty-reducing pathways to build a community where marginalized individuals feel accepted, understood, connected and valued. Key programs are financial literacy courses, private financial counseling, poverty IQ workshops and simulation events. (pictured: Whatcom Dream representatives (left to right) Michael De Frank, Volunteer, Trudy Shuravloff, Executive Director, and Board Members, A.C. Griffith and Heidi Ludeman)

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Interested in Applying?

Education First Grants are closed for 2019, but stay tuned for information regarding 2020 Grants. Download our 2019 Request for Proposals to learn more. Questions can be submitted to [email protected]