Seattle Education Access
Seattle Education Access (SEA) provides higher education advocacy and opportunity to people struggling to overcome poverty and adversity.
• To provide the personal attention, mentorship, technical assistance, and moral support that low-income young people need to navigate the complex systems of higher education and financial aid.
• To connect low-income young people with information and resources, and support them in creating an individualized plan to meet their higher education goals.
• To advocate for and with low-income young people, and empower them to develop their own voices as they pursue their higher education.
• To provide financial resources that help low-income young people access higher education and meet their basic needs while in school.
SEA fights poverty and homelessness by helping low-income young people make strong transitions to local community colleges and four year universities. Many of our students have been homeless; others are immigrants, foster youth, or single parents. What they all share in common is motivation to complete their educations, coupled with a lack of adequate resources to achieve their goals. We provide our students with financial and social resources so they can excel academically, as well as personalized, compassionate, respectful academic advising and advocacy. As a result, our students are succeeding in college and leaving poverty behind, preparing to give back to society as professionals and leaders of the next generation.
Our students face significant barriers to college success: lack of housing, family support, money for tuition, books and food, and mentors and tutors whom they can trust. They also suffer from low societal expectations and support. By removing these barriers, we open up the world of academic and career opportunities to our young students — the same opportunities that are available to youth from wealthier families.
Through our College Success Program, we provide free academic advising, career counseling, scholarships, tutoring, and advocacy. Our College Success Program has a proven track record of helping marginalized youth succeed in college. We are responding to an urgent and critical need with a bold new approach that is unduplicated in Washington State. Our staff works with students to create an individualized academic achievement plan tailored to each student's gifts and goals. We teach our students how to navigate the educational system, get federal financial aid, compete for private scholarships, make a budget, register for classes, pick the right campus and degree program, and effectively access campus services. We provide long term social support, cheering the student on toward graduation. We also operate our own scholarship fund that supplements their financial aid package.