June Updates

Jun 14, 2021

Some of the WWIN Star Scholars graduating in 2021.

Congratulations to our 48 graduating Star Scholars!

This June, we are proud to celebrate the graduation of 48 WWIN Star Scholars! These outstanding women have inspired us time and again, and we know they will continue to inspire others as they move on to the next chapter in their lives and careers. 

Here are just a few highlights from the 2021 graduating class:

  • 96% of our graduating Star Scholars received Bachelor’s degrees, and 4% received Associates degrees
  • They studied at 22 different colleges and universities across Washington State
  • Their majors included Nursing, Biophysics, Mechanical Engineering, Nutrition, Elementary Education, Social Work, and others
  • They held an average GPA of 3.7

We have always believed that when a woman sees what’s possible, she aims high – and with the right support, she will reach her full potential and change the world for her family and community. Each of our graduating seniors’ stories of perseverance and success shows what’s possible when you invest in a woman’s education.Congratulations, Star Scholars! We know you’ll continue to make a difference in all you do.

Graduation day for Elizabeth Medina

Finding creativity and strength on the road to healing: Elizabeth’s story

Elizabeth Medina had a lifelong dream to become a journalist. A natural storyteller and gifted dancer with a creative flair, Elizabeth has never been afraid to stand out – and she has always found inspiration in exploring other people’s stories, lives, and cultures through journalism. Growing up on an orchard near Wenatchee, Elizabeth worked hard in school and alongside her family in the agriculture business. She was overjoyed to be accepted at Washington State University for a degree in public relations and communications. 

Then, during her first year in college, the Medina family faced an unexpected tragedy: Elizabeth’s beloved mother suddenly passed away from stomach cancer. “My life completely changed. I went from an independent, successful first-year college student to helping manage a household of six with the snap of a finger.” 

Elizabeth immediately withdrew from college to support her family, but she didn’t lose sight of her dream. With support from WWIN, she was able to return and complete a dual degree in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish. She quickly accepted a job as a producer at KEPR, the local TV station, producing stories for the community throughout the covid-19 pandemic. 

“When I found WWIN, it was like a fire lit up inside of me. They were so encouraging and motivating. I thought, ‘Yes! I can do this.’ Beyond the financial support, WWIN also gave me the push to keep going. They helped me heal.”

Along the way, there have been many milestones Elizabeth wishes she could share with her mom: being the first in her family to graduate with a college degree, getting engaged, and starting her journalism career. She knows her mother would be proud of all she has accomplished – and so do we.

Will you make a gift to help a woman like Elizabeth achieve her dream?
WWIN is currently reviewing 280 eligible scholarship applications for the Fall semester – nearly 100 more than we received last year. You can make a world of difference in a Washington woman’s life. When you help support a woman’s education, you open the door to opportunity, success, and career stability that lasts a lifetime.

Leave perfectionism behind with the “Done is Better Than Perfect” workshop

Do you tend to get stuck in endless revisions when you could be presenting your work? Do you hold yourself back from pressing “send” on that application to look over it “just one more time”? Does always striving for 100% sometimes stop you from taking a step forward at all? It’s easy to get caught up in perfectionism – but chasing the illusion of “perfect” can get in the way of real-life success and achievement. 

Join us on July 14 at 4 p.m. PT for the “Done is Better Than Perfect” workshop, where life and leadership coach Micha Goebig of Go Big Coaching will lead a discussion on the difference between perfectionism and ambition – and how to move beyond perfectionism and embrace excellence. You will leave with an actionable list of strategies and tools you can use to build confidence and move closer to your goals in life and work.

Micha Goebig

Follow us on LinkedIn for more updates and career workshops.

: Kitsap Bank leadership, left to right: Tony George, President and COO; Cydly Langer Smith, Chairwoman of the Board; Steve Politakis, CEO; Helen Langer Smith, Vice Chairwoman of the Board; Melinda Smith Pigors, Director.

Thank you, Kitsap Bank, for partnering with WWIN to support women’s education and leadership

Kitsap Bank knows what a difference women’s leadership makes: in fact, 70% of the Bank’s leadership roles are filled by women. Fueled by three generations of women’s leadership, Kitsap Bank fosters a culture of ingenuity, tenacity, and strength that dates back to 1952, when Hannah Norum Langer took over management of the Bank after the death of her husband. Hannah’s daughter, Helen Langer Smith, remembers the moment when a handful of Seattle bankers arrived at her father’s funeral with checkbooks in their breast pockets, ready to purchase the Bank: “My mother had other ideas: in an unprecedented move for the time, she decided not to sell, but to lead.” 

Hannah was elected Kitsap Bank’s fifth president, becoming one of the first female bank presidents in the nation – and since then, two more generations of women leaders have followed in her footsteps. Her daughter, Helen, became Chairwoman of the Board in 1986, followed by her granddaughter, Cydly Langer Smith, in 2011. Kitsap Bank’s mission and values have been deeply shaped by this generational women’s leadership, which has helped foster a longstanding commitment to supporting women and education in the local community.

In 2020, Kitsap Bank was the title sponsor of 425 Business Magazine’s Women to Watch event – and WWIN was the Bank’s featured nonprofit organization for the 2020 Community Connections philanthropy program: a partnership that reflects shared values and belief in women’s leadership and education. 

“As a women-owned business, Kitsap Bank shares WWIN’s dedication to helping women reach their full potential. We believe in WWIN’s mission to support higher education and empowering women to succeed in the workforce – and we encourage other like-minded businesses to be part of the positive impact that WWIN has on the lives of women in our local community.”

As a proudly independent family business headquartered in Port Orchard, Kitsap Bank is committed to giving back and remaining connected to its local roots. In the past five years, the Bank has invested more than $2.2 million in the community through sponsorships, scholarships, donations, and volunteer activities. Kitsap Bank’s commitment to education also extends to the benefits provided to employees: the Bank offers paid internships to students, a robust tuition reimbursement program for employees, and scholarships for employees’ children at high school graduation to help them pursue college or trade school education. Thank you, Kitsap Bank, for your partnership and support for Washington women’s education and career success. You are truly making a difference in the community.


Investing in a woman is the best way to ensure a successful future for all of us.
You can help transform our community, one woman at a time.

WWIN is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Tax ID 91-1559848


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