Cultivating Potential Sustaining Fund

Pamela Javier never hesitates to put the needs of others before herself. Whether she is caring for her infant daughter or volunteering at a local charity, her compassionate heart and determined spirit are hard at work. As a young mother and first-generation Asian American college student, Pamela dreams of becoming a registered nurse.

“The thought of putting others before myself has not only guided me to find the career path I want in life, but it has also helped me to become the mother I am today,” says Pamela.

Despite her vision for the future, life has come with bumps and unexpected turns. When the pandemic closed daycare operations, Pamela was forced to stop work to stay home with her daughter. Chronic medical issues and tight finances posed additional roadblocks on her path toward a nursing degree.

Thanks to the generosity of an Innovia donor, Pamela is receiving the financial aid and individualized mentorship she needs to realize her dreams. Pamela is one of nine students selected to receive the first year of distributions from the Cultivating Potential Sustaining Fund, established by an anonymous donor committed to giving young people like Pamela the opportunity to discover purpose and achieve meaningful lives as they rise above challenging circumstances.

The Cultivating Potential scholarship is different from other scholarships at Innovia in that it provides support beyond tuition assistance. All of the students in the cohort are connected to weekly meetings with a mentor and have access to emergency funding to address non-tuition needs that can often derail students on the postsecondary path.

The program is possible because of collaboration with local nonprofits and schools to identify youth with the initiative to take responsibility for their education and life. Partner organizations include Treehouse Launch Success, Lumen High School, College Success Foundation and Spokane Community College. The NextGen Zone, a program of Spokane’s Workforce Development Council, coordinates the mentorship and student support activities.

“The students of our region have so much promise, but too often they are alone in facing obstacles that disrupt their educational plans,” says Shelly O’Quinn, CEO of Innovia Foundation. “The generous donor who established this scholarship fund is committed to ensuring our Cultivating Potential recipients have a team around them for mentorship and support on their path to success.”

Through the support of the scholarship program, Pamela is forging a better future for herself and her daughter.

“All I can do is be the best role model I can be for my daughter by making my dreams of becoming a nurse come true,” says Pamela.

"I want to let her know anything is possible if she sets her mind to it."

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