Bellingham Tech awarded $12,500 from Safeco foundation for program to help low-income youth

Bellingham Technical College received a $12,500 grant from Safeco Insurance Foundation to expand its program providing college-level courses to underserved young adults.The Reaching Out to East 542 program serves low-income residents of eastern Whatcom County ages 16 to 24.

“We are very excited to receive this grant,” Carol Lager, BTC’s interim vice president of instruction, said in a Feb. 17 press release. “This program has proven to be very successful. Word of mouth from those who have taken our courses has helped fill each class, and to have the much needed dollars to be able to give at least 150 students targeted career advising and case management services this year is fantastic.”

Safeco Insurance Foundation, a philanthropic group owned by Seattle-based Safeco Insurance, awarded 32 grants totaling $770,000 with the goal of improving educational achievement and opportunities for youth in Washington and Oregon.

Since the inception of foundation’s education initiative in 2009, more than $2 million has been donated.

“The Safeco Insurance Foundation gives priority to educational programs that encourage disadvantaged youth to excel academically and create opportunities for life-long success through learning,” Paul Hollie, the foundation’s director, said in the release. “Safeco believes that investing in education is an investment in our community at large.”

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