UW Certificate Scholarship Helps Students and Employers

Financial aid gives underserved adults a career boost and employers more qualified workers to fill roles left vacant by the “skills gap.”

Thanks to the generosity of Washington employers, civic groups and individual donors, the UW Certificate Scholarship program is helping motivated adult students create a more promising professional future.

Receiving this scholarship means so much to me. It will help bridge the gap between me and my next opportunity.

 — Veronicah Munyao

Among those students is Veronicah Munyao. Born and raised in Kenya, Veronicah recently moved to the United States and enrolled in the UW Certificate in Project Management to learn business skills and become more competitive in the job market. 

“Receiving this scholarship means so much to me,” she said. “It will help bridge the gap between me and my next opportunity.”

Silvia Eddings is another example of resilience. Silvia is studying for her UW Certificate in Storytelling & Content Strategy. She moved to the United States as a child and, as a first-generation college student, Silvia aspires to create digital resources to help children who have experienced abuse.

“Education is the key to a better quality of life,” said Silvia. “I will use this scholarship to gain skills to help children and make a difference in someone else’s life.”

In 2021, the number of scholarships awarded to deserving Washingtonians doubled compared to previous years. Each award covers 80% of student fees, bringing career-focused education within reach for Washingtonians with lower incomes.

Financial gifts from AT&T, BECU, ESA, Herrera, Perkins Coie, the Seattle Finance Collective, Society of Wetland Scientists and Windermere Foundation have totaled more than $300,000 since the scholarship launched in 2017.

Education is the key to a better quality of life. I will use this scholarship to gain skills to help children and make a difference in someone else’s life.

 — Silvia Eddings

UW Continuum College Vice Provost Rovy Branon hopes that 2022 holds the promise of even more scholarships for underserved Washingtonians seeking access to education and training.

“We believe in the power of education to promote positive change, advance social equity and improve people’s lives,” said Rovy. “Reading the stories of scholarship applicants, you quickly recognize the depth of the need to increase access to career-relevant, skills-based education in the Puget Sound region.”

And the help couldn’t come at a better time. The “skills gap” between the work experience businesses need and employees have, is widening. According to McKinsey, 87% of companies say they have a skills gap now or realize that they will soon. UW Continuum College is addressing this deficit from both the employer and employee perspective, inviting large companies like Amazon, Boeing and Microsoft, among others, to join their Certificate Advisory Boards. These boards advise UW certificate programs to help ensure the curriculum reflects what employers are looking for in hiring and retention.

For more details about the UW Certificate Scholarship, including eligibility criteria, deadlines and how to apply, visit: https://www.pce.uw.edu/uw-certificate-scholarship.

If you’re interested in making a corporate or large gift, please contact UW Continuum College Associate Director of Community & Corporate Relations Jo Gubas: jgubas@uw.edu.