UNCF Seattle

“A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”® Why not invest your time or money in better futures for young people in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and around the country?

UNCF Seattle is here to help you send a student to college and turn his or her life around. Our goal is to be able to provide every local minority student with the funds they need to support their college education and promote awareness of UNCF in the Pacific Northwest.

 UNCF still needs your assistance, as we can only help 1 out of 10 students who apply for scholarships, due to insufficient available funding. Text UNCFSEA to 50555 to give $25, or click here to donate today and build better futures for African American students!

Want to volunteer for a formal event or a noontime luncheon with community leaders? If you've got the time and are interested in getting behind UNCF, we'd be very happy to hear from you. Is a child you know looking for the right college? Can you contribute to keeping student aid available and academic programs strong at UNCF-member colleges or universities? UNCF Seattle will make the connection. Contact us today at infoseattle@uncf.org to learn how you can help.

Did You Know?

UNCF Seattle provides the following support to local students:

  • Portfolio Project 2015-16 students: 64 students
  • ​Portfolio Project Scholarship recipients: 7 students
  • Gates Millennium Scholars: 364 students
  • Alaskan Scholarship recipients: 9 students
  • ​Pacific Northwest Scholarship recipients: 13 students
  • Local students attending UNCF-member institutions: 235 students

News and Events

2018 "A Mind Is..." Gala a Success!

UNCF Seattle celebrated their 12th Annual "A Mind Is..." Gala on February 24 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington in Renton. The event set attendance records, with with 600 participants, and met its financial goal. There was significant support from the corporate community and our local community at large. Dr. Herman J. Felton, Jr., president of Wiley College in Marshall, TX,  was an outstanding keynote speaker. Our emcees, Mark Wright and Joyce Taylor, NBC-affiliate King 5 anchors, did an amazing job hosting  the evening. The night was filled with wonderful moments and the opportunity to honor Verizon, Starbucks, US Bank, Cathy Gibson, Dr. Al Black, and Seattle Seahawk Doug Baldwin. UNCF  also would like to send a special thank-you to or dedicated donor Marie Alexander, for her support of this event and other programs.

The UNCF Seattle Leadership Council agreed that their guests were wildly enthusiastic and gave them wonderful feedback. One attendee said “The Gala knocked my socks off!” Thank you to everyone for helping “to build brighter futures for so many students because “A Mind is a terrible thing to waste.” 

Scenes from the 2018 Seattle "A Mind Is..." Gala

UNCF Leadership Council


  • Chris Bennett, Co-Publisher/Editor, The Seattle Medium Newspaper
  • ​Carmen Best, Deputy Chief of Operations, Seattle Police Headquarters
  • Sarita Carter, Managing Director of Human Resources, The Seattle Seahawks
  • Dwane Chappell, Director, Dept of Education and Early Learning, City of Seattle
  • Iris Childris, Senior Program Manager, Strategic Product Launch and Enterprise Commerce, Microsoft
  • Bill Dickens Sr., Utilities Economist, Tacoma Public Utilities
  • Carl Gipson, Director, External Affairs, AT&T
  • Effenus Henderson, Founder and CEO, HenderWorks Consulting
  • Bennie Johnson, Managing Director, Flight Crew Management System, Alaska Airlines
  • Wayne Johnson, Executive Chef, Fare Start
  • John Leach, Owner, LaserWriting
  • Nate Miles, VP of Strategic Initiatives, Eli Lily, LLC
  • Anthony Shoecraft, Senior Policy Advisor, City of Seattle
  • Debra Smiley, Personal Trust Associate, The Private Client Reserve,  U.S. Bank
  • George Wallerstein, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, Dept. of Astronomy
  • Marvin White, Director, Emergent Biosolutions


  • Michelle Harper, Retired, Portland Parks & Recreation
  • Joy Fowler, VP, Diversity Programs Manager, Umpqua Bank
  • Vicki Guinn, MS, Public & Community Relations Consultant - Marketing & Community Relations, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center
  • Sheila Holden, Regional Community Manager, Pacific Power
  • Mimi Hunter, Assistant General Counsel Corporate, Governance and Securities, Nike
  • Cobi Lewis, VP, Community Development Officer - Government & Community Relations, West Region, Wells Fargo
  • Larry Miller, President, Jordan Brand- Nike
  • Michael Montgomery, VP & Oregon Manager - Community Affairs & Development, U.S. Bank
  • Clarence Nesbitt, Assistant General Counsel, Business Services, Nike
  • Shelonda Simpson Physician Recruitment, Kaiser Permanente - NW Permanente Physicians & Surgeons P.C.


  • Vonnie Gaither, Community Volunteer, Retired
  • Johnny Gibbons, Dickerson & Gibbons Inc.
  • Dr. William Green, Pastor, Eagle River Missionary Baptist Church
  • Ruth McConnell, Community Volunteer  
  • Marva Watson, Director of Diversity, University of Alaska Anchorage

UNCF Seattle Staff