Boeing awards a $5 million recommitment grant to Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

Grant supports students with Baccalaureate and Career Technical scholarships.

November 03, 2021 in Our Commitment

Boeing is making an additional $5 million contribution to support scholarships for Washington students pursuing high-demand trade, STEM and health care careers through the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS). As a founding partner of the program, Boeing has donated more than $30 million to WSOS since 2011 to support low- and middle-income Washington students pursuing certificate, apprenticeship and degree programs in Washington state.

"The Boeing Company is proud to be a founding partner in the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship,” said Stan Deal, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We can’t think of a better way to ignite our economy than to educate our own children and create jobs in the state of Washington.”

WSOS is a unique public-private partnership that invests private dollars, matched dollar-for-dollar by the state, into financial aid and student scholarships to help students graduate on time in high-demand fields and launch careers in Washington state.

“Boeing’s longtime and generous support has made it possible for us to create educational and economic opportunity for an entire generation of Washington students,” said Kimber Connors, WSOS executive director. “Their continued commitment will drive Washington’s economy forward, ensuring we are removing barriers for deserving students while also creating a pipeline of diverse talent that aligns with workforce demands and the jobs of the future in our state.”

Many former WSOS students are now Boeing employees, including Boeing software engineer Mohamed Abdi.

“Washington State Opportunity Scholarship made a difference to me,” said Abdi. “It provided a way to pay off tuition and for me to be more focused on school and my studies and have the opportunity to look for internships and network on the side rather than working full time.”

This latest investment builds upon Boeing’s long-standing commitment to diversify Washington’s STEM and trade workforce, as WSOS recipients are majority women, nearly 70% are students of color and two-thirds are first-generation college students.

“One of the other areas we’re so proud of at Boeing is our ability to focus and partner on our mentoring programs within Washington State Opportunity Scholarship,” said Joelle Denney, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of Human Resources and current WSOS board member. “We were one of the initial participants in Skills that Shine that pairs industry employees with students to help them transition from college to career.”

Jordan Lance was a WSOS recipient in school. Today, he’s one of those Boeing mentors supporting WSOS scholars.

“I can help them, but in ways, they help me. I tell them sometimes, the best way to master a skill is to teach it. So they’re getting a little help from the scholarship and a little help from me, so it goes a long way.”

“Boeing is absolutely thrilled to have been a part of Washington State Opportunity Scholarship for the past 10 years. And we are going to continue that partnership in the next 10,” said Denney.

By: Jim Lally & Jane McCarthy