Education First Grants

WECU’s Education First Grant program awarded $110,000 to Whatcom Dream, BAAY, Lummi Youth Academy, and the Opp. Council in its first year.

2019 Recipients

We’re honored, through our Education First Grant program, to support local groups working to advance education in Whatcom County. Grantees are selected through a panel review process. This process takes many factors into account, especially the commitment of organizations to make a meaningful difference in our community.

2019 Grantee


One of three branches of BAAY, EduArts provides activities after school, bringing low-cost 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 schools. Pictured: Reid Frederick, WECU. Ian Bivins, Exec. Director of Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth (BAAY).

Learn more about BAAY.

2019 Grantee

Lummi Youth Academy

Offers housing for at-risk teens and young adults facing hardship at home or homelessness. Housing aides, academic teams, and medical teams promote a safe housing and learning space for youth. Located near K-12 Lummi Nation School. Pictured: Lummi Youth Academy reps (left to right). Lorayne Dennis, Director of Youth Program Services. Tammy Cultee, Program Manager. Kayani E., Student. Candice Wilson, Exec. Director of the Lhaq’temish Foundation.

Learn more about Lummi Youth Academy.

2019 Grantee

Opp. Council

Teaches financial skills to all age groups meeting specific income requirements. With mentor and peer support, adults take part in a savings program that grants goal-based rewards. Children ages 3-5 enrolled in pre-school services learn key skills like counting pennies and using penny banks. Pictured: Reid Frederick, WECU. Rochelle Perigo, Program Specialist at Opp. Council’s Project X-It.

Learn more about Opp. Council.

2019 Grantee

Whatcom Dream

Creates pathways to reduce poverty and build a community where marginalized people feel accepted, understood, connected and valued. Key programs focus on financial skills and counseling. They also host poverty IQ workshops and model events. Pictured: Whatcom Dream reps (left to right). Michael De Frank, Volunteer. Trudy Shuravloff, Exec. Director. A.C. Griffith and Heidi Ludeman, Board Members.

Learn more about Whatcom Dream.