Transforming Washington State begins with our “why”
WSOS is the first public-private scholarship program dedicated to building lasting pathways to secondary education and high-demand STEM and trade careers for all Washington students. We accelerate equitable change for historically excluded students and increase the local talent pool for Washington businesses.
Mission: We are on a mission to transform Washington state by building pathways to high-demand jobs that strengthen our communities and economy.
Vision: We envision a Washington where all residents have access to our state’s best jobs, and our companies have the diverse, local talent they need to innovate for the world.
We know WSOS works.
Students that go through our program are ready to enter high-demand fields, and businesses are eager to hire them. Most Baccalaureate graduates earn nearly $100K a year. Career and Technical Scholarship graduates earn four times what their families earned at the time of their application. After more than 10 years, we can clearly see the impact on students, businesses, and communities across Washington State.
We recognize systemic barriers.
WSOS recognizes the educational and socio-economic inequalities that exist throughout Washington state. We acknowledge that systemic barriers, institutional racism, and poverty exist—disproportionally affecting historically excluded communities. We are passionate about reducing barriers for Scholars from diverse backgrounds.
We believe in building more diverse industries.
Innovative industries thrive when they reflect the communities where they’re based. We work to ensure that the college-to-career pipeline creates opportunities for women and students of color. Our diverse population of Scholars is thriving and finding success in their careers and in their communities and are building more inclusive STEM, health care, and trades fields.
We believe Opportunity Scholars are the solution to the workforce shortage in Washington.
Washington needs Opportunity Scholars. We have far too few health care providers to meet demand even in normal circumstances, and we need more scientists, researchers, and technology innovators to meet the needs of our state now and in the years to come. As we work to solve the workforce crisis, our Scholars will be the ones who keep the lights on, our agriculture businesses thriving, our science innovating and our tech sector powering solutions to our world’s most challenging problems.
The values that guide our work
Scholars are our North Star
We prioritize what’s best for Scholars in the long-term.
People are our greatest asset:
Being human-centric means seeing the whole person, creating space where people feel valued, and unlocking people’s potential to do their best work.
Impact isn’t by chance:
We set bold goals centered on the mission and are strategic about how we focus our time, energy, and resources. We believe high-performance matters for Scholars, and we hold ourselves and others accountable.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are superpowers:
We have a responsibility to equitably serve diverse Scholars, and we know diverse perspectives make us powerful. We value transparency – up, down, and laterally – because it’s a key lever to drive equitable decision-making.
We strive for best-in-class outcomes, not perfection, because our Scholars and team members are worth the effort.
Be respectful, courageous, and honest:
We say the hard thing, ask the hard question, and make the hard decision in service of our mission.
Iterate to great:
We create a space built on trust where people can think creatively, voice their opinions, and create the conditions for our highest and best impacts.
We is greater than me:
We believe in personal empowerment and accountability – own your decisions and their impact. We seek to understand individual perspectives, but we serve the collective.
Keeping equity at the forefront
WSOS is committed to establishing an equitable pathway for future trade, STEM, and health care leaders. WSOS affirms the intersectionality of people’s identities. We use an equity lens in all aspects of our work to empower our Scholars.
WSOS recognizes that socio-economic burdens and benefits are not distributed equitably. Systemic barriers of intolerance, discrimination, and social injustice are deeply rooted in history and impact our state’s historically excluded communities. We challenge ourselves and our partners to dismantle these barriers on behalf of our Scholars.