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Degrees Of Change

Who We Are

Our Mission

We prepare diverse, homegrown leaders to succeed in college and use their degrees to build more vibrant and equitable communities.

Our Means

We partner with community organizations, high schools, colleges, and employers to provide cohort-based leadership training, college success support, career development, and alumni programming to underrepresented students who desire to lead and serve their home communities. As both a national backbone organization and local, direct service provider in Tacoma-Seattle, we provide and use research-based programming, cutting-edge evaluation and data tools, and innovative operational systems and technical assistance to support all aspects of our integrated programs.

Our Motivation

We love our communities and want to see them thrive in all their diversity. As a faith-based organization, our work is motivated by Christian convictions that include a deep commitment to working across differences for equity and justice. We believe that diverse, college-educated, homegrown leaders are in the best position to transform the inequitable systems that persist in our communities. We engage broad coalitions of organizations in the faith community and the public and private sectors to create meaningful impact.

Our Values

Educational Equity

We work to identify and eliminate systemic barriers in higher education and career development that perpetuate social and economic disparities. In doing so, we remain attentive to our own individual and institutional contributions to these systems.

Local Voices

We believe communities can be positively transformed to the extent that they are loved and embraced by those that call them home. We look to local people and organizations as the most effective leaders of local change.

Diverse Perspectives

We recognize that our staff, board, and students must reflect the communities we serve. We know that we will maximize our impact only when decisions are shaped by diverse voices across the organization.

Service Leadership

We seek to nurture in our students and ourselves leadership that is committed first to serving others. We look for the beauty amid brokenness that compels us to lean into, rather than away from, the most challenging places and problems.

Courageous Culture

We aspire to create among our team, our partners, and our students a courageous space where people from different backgrounds and worldviews can bring their whole selves, speak honestly, take risks, make mistakes, extend and receive grace, develop trust, hold each other accountable, and commit together to a common mission.

Committed Collaboration

We bring people and organizations together to create partnerships that emerge from shared values and aligned mission. We believe we can only create systemic change together, and we seek to maintain relationships even when we disagree on important issues.

Continuous Learning

We rigorously assess and continuously reflect on our work, always looking for opportunities to measure, improve, and innovate. We take informed risks and learn from our successes and setbacks.

Operational Excellence

We know our students and partners deserve our very best work. We strive to pursue ambitious goals, attract and retain extraordinary people, build effective systems, make data-informed decisions, deliver exceptional service, and hold ourselves to the highest standards.

Denice’s Story

Upon graduating from Whitworth University as an Act Six scholar, L. Denice Randle committed herself to fighting for educational equity. Since then, she's charted a career in education that uniquely equipped her for her current role as executive director at Peace Community Center, a nonprofit…

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Our Strategies

Community-Based Cohorts

We send students from the same home community to college together.

Leadership Development

We discover, nurture, and unleash students’ potential in its many forms.

Career Development

We connect students to relevant career experiences and opportunities.

Cross-Sector Collaboration

We build partnerships with colleges, community organizations, and the business community that promote student success.

Our Programs

Act Six

NATIONAL + TACOMA-SEATTLEAct Six transforms communities by sending diverse, first-generation students together to private, faith- and social justice-based liberal arts colleges, while providing full scholarships and leadership training. Scholars become agents of change, leading on campus, in their home community, and beyond. | actsix.org

Ready to Rise

WASHINGTON STATE + TACOMAReady to Rise provides community-based leadership development, training, and support for cohorts of diverse, first-generation students attending two- and four-year public colleges. Throughout their college journey, scholars grow together as service-minded leaders on campus and beyond. | readytorise.org

Seed Internships

PIERCE COUNTY + TACOMA Seed Internships connects exceptional students and recent grads with local businesses through paid internships and a robust curriculum of professional development. We’re creating a sustainable pipeline for homegrown talent and cultivating a more diverse workforce. | seedinternships.org

Tacoma Completes

TACOMATacoma Completes develops and strengthens local partnerships to support Tacoma Public School college-goers in persisting through college to graduation. We’re fostering the growth of a more equitable community and a more vibrant, educated workforce. | tacomacompletes.org

Foyost (Follow Your Students)

NATIONAL | The Foyost College Enrollment Visualizer helps school districts and community organizations to unlock the power of data to improve advising, track students’ progress through higher education, and improve postsecondary outcomes. We transform static data into powerfully interactive visual insight to drive student success. | foyost.org

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Our Scholars
Beat the Odds

Act Six scholars double the national graduation rate for low-income students. Learn more about how we’re fighting inequity with game-changing outcomes.
Our Impact