Bound for Success!

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About

How many times have you gotten to point A and realized you needed help getting to point B? It happens to students too! 

You see, getting a student to PLU is just the first step. This spring, you're invited to help a student to successfully get where they're going.

The student you'll help will be a 253 PLU Bound Scholar, one of 115 or more smart, motivated incoming students. Your investment will help provide a $1,000 Supporting Success Scholarship that helps a student:

- Focus on their studies instead of financial survival

- Have a well-rounded college experience

- Have capacity to serve, lead and care

- Build a stronger community

Help an incoming scholar get where they're going to the benefit of all of us. Make your generous investment today!

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Updates
32 recipients of the 253 Scholarship graduate today!


PLU's graduation is today and students can't wait to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. It's a huge accomplishment worthy of fanfare!

Among the proud graduates will be 253 PLU Bound Scholars. These motivated, smart students received a Supporting Success Scholarship all four years of their experience — a scholarship that helped them get to the graduation stage at the Tacoma Dome.

Here’s what receiving the 253 PLU Bound Scholarship meant to these graduates:

“Being a recipient of the 253 PLU Bound Scholarship is amazing! It made my PLU journey more affordable. It has also given me confidence and energy going into next year as a graduate student.” — Jordan Thomas ’22, Sociology 

“The 253 Scholarship allowed me to bypass the barrier of any financial difficulty and pursue my dream of becoming a nurse!” Ricky Leung22, Nursing

“The 253 Scholarship was an incredible opportunity provided to me, as I was able to explore the different careers within sports, which led me to find my vocation in athletic directing.” — Heze Goodwin ’22, Kinesiology

Today by Teddy Wingo
GiveBIG Update

Thanks to the generosity of our Lutes in Washington and further afield, we anticipate reaching our initial GiveBIG goal of 20 incoming students from Washington receiving 20 Supporting Success Scholarships ($20,000)! 

But you can still support Washington students today! 

Before the end of GiveBIG at midnight on 5/4, will you help get scholarships to 5 more students?

24 days ago by Andrea Michelbach
💛 GiveBIG for 253 Scholars on May 3-4 💛

Washington GiveBIG will be taking place on May 3-4 and this will be your opportunity to make a BIG impact for 253 Scholars! Early giving opens on 4/19 but keep an eye out for a matching gift announcement! You can learn more by directly visiting our Washington Gives GiveBIG profile. By May 4, you’re invited to GiveBIG and support scholarships for these incoming Lutes.

46 days ago by Teddy Wingo
6 Ensembles, 3 Clubs, 2 Directorships, 1 Stellar Scholar

When Kaila Harris ’24 received her PLU acceptance letter, it was a special moment for her and her family. Upon its arrival, Kaila read the letter, which included the contents of her financial aid package, aloud to her parents.

“When I finished, my dad stood up, gave me one of the tightest hugs I’ve had from him in my life, told me he was proud of me and cried,” said Harris. “It was one of two times I have ever seen him cry.”

Harris is a recipient of the 253 PLU Bound Scholarship, a scholarship program that was originally designed in 2015 for Pierce County, Washington, students (Pierce County’s area code is 253) but has since expanded statewide. In addition to four years paid tuition, 253 scholars also receive a $1,500 housing grant and a $1,000 Supporting Success Scholarship. In partnership with the state of Washington, it is designed to make higher education accessible to students from all financial backgrounds. 

Kaila grew up an hour and a half from Tacoma in Castle Rock, Washington and attended Castle Rock High School. An education major, with an emphasis in special education, and a music minor, PLU was always her first choice. 

“I was really lucky because my high school band director, Mrs. Dietz was a PLU alum,” Harris explained. “We even had the opportunity to come up to PLU and attend music workshops with PLU educators while I was in high school. Through my relationship with Mrs. Dietz and getting to know the school before even applying, I knew PLU was where I wanted to be.”

Since arriving at PLU in 2019, Harris has not only immersed herself in the on-campus community but has also become a leader and change-maker in Parkland. In addition to being a member of six of PLU’s musical ensembles, as well as three student-led clubs, Harris is also the Student Director of PLU’s Artist Mentoring Program (AMP) and an Assistant Director at the Parkland Literacy Center. 

The Artist Mentoring Program has been around PLU for some time but fell by the wayside when previous student leadership graduated. As a music student and educator, Harris was looking for a way to provide local youth who have financial disadvantages with free access to music programs. After speaking with PLU faculty, she was encouraged to revitalize the Artist Mentoring Program, which she has done. This summer, AMP will officially relaunch and will be offering free music camps to local young musicians.

The Parkland Literacy Center provides free tutoring in most subjects to any K-12 students in the Bethel and Franklin Pierce school districts. Tutoring is led by PLU student volunteers, and an average of 15 students each semester regularly donate their time. With goals to provide support to adult English language learners in the near future, the Parkland Literacy Center is fast becoming an educational cornerstone in the local South Sound community. 

“My goal is not only to do what I can to provide access to education for everyone, but to make sure that the community knows that there are resources available to them,” Harris said. “I recently had a job shadowing experience in a local fifth grade classroom where the teacher told me that his students openly spoke about college not feeling like an option to them.”

Harris explained that this could have also been her reality if it weren’t for one of her middle school teachers explaining to her family that there were resources available to them. 

“The 253 PLU Bound scholarship not only helped me get here, but the additional support provided through the Supporting Success Scholarship helps me stay.” 

Harris has found a home here in Parkland and, after utilizing her PLUS year to graduate in 2024, she has every intention of staying here to continue to work and to support the local community. 

This article originally appeared on March 14, 2022, on the PLU news site. The original article can be accessed here.

73 days ago by Teddy Wingo
How can a supporting success scholarship impact student experience?

“The scholarship really opened up more doors than I could really comprehend when I first came to PLU. I haven’t been so worried about applying for multiple jobs on campus and working extra hours. I could really focus on being a student — I’ve gained a lot of community there.”   — Nick Etzell, ‘23

86 days ago by Teddy Wingo

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