Serving the Whole Scholar










At Palmer Scholars, we are committed to helping our Scholars achieve their dreams of a better life through higher education. We know through experience that our work cannot stop after scholarship checks go out. Our “Whole Scholar” model is a holistic approach that provides opportunities for our committed staff, board, and community volunteers to support Scholars in most all areas of life, not just what is generally encapsulated in college access programs.

Much More than a Scholarship

Starting Early

For most of our history we selected our Scholars as seniors in high school. Recognizing that we needed more time to work with them to help them prepare for the transition to postsecondary education, we began selecting our scholars as juniors, tripling the amount of time we have to build relationships with and support them prior to enrollment. 


In their junior and senior years  of high school, Scholars participate in 55+ hours of training to prepare them for the transition to postsecondary education. Topics include determining “right fit” for postsecondary programs,  career exploration,  the application process,  FAFSA/WASFA,  scholarships, budgeting,  self-advocacy,  identifying resources while on campus,  and navigating higher education as a student of color.  


In  their senior year of high school,  Scholars are carefully matched with a trained  adult  mentor who will provide  ongoing support and guidance through graduation.  

Our staff meet 1 on 1 with each Scholar on their campus during the school year, and also bring the entire cohort together for a shared meal and fellowship.

We also host several social events every year for Scholars and their families to reconnect with each other, staff, board members, mentors and other volunteers. 

My college experience has provided me with a multitude of experiences and opportunities that shaped me into the leader that I am today. The Palmer Scholars Family and donors support has spring boarded me into my childhood career goal of becoming a law enforcement officer. 

I am incredibly proud to be a Palmer Scholars Graduate!   

-Masyih, class of 2010


We pride ourselves on setting our Scholars up for success once they have their degrees in hand, and are thankful to have formed key partnerships to take this area of our work further. Beginning with the class of 2020, all of our Scholars will participate in an internship and receive training to develop/sharpen their professional skills through the NEXT MOVE Internship Program.


We offer scholarships of up to $5,000 per year, renewable for up to five years, as well as assistance with books and personal expenses. Scholars may attend  the  post-secondary  educational program of their choosing. 

Rising freshmen Scholars  receive a fully stocked backpack with  school supplies, including  folders, notebooks, and a  laptop. Scholars also receive a $150 gift card to shop with their  parents, guardians, or assigned mentor for their dorm room necessities.  

Palmer Pathways

Our newest initiative,  Palmer Pathways, serves  young adults between the ages of 18-26 in our community. Through  the Palmer Pathways Initiative,  we  recruit young adults who are not currently employed or enrolled in school and are interested in pursuing a career in the trades.

Palmer Pathways Scholars will receive all of the services Scholars in our Legacy Program receive, including training, mentoring, and ongoing support throughout their academic/professional journey. 

We are excited to expand the breadth and depth of our services to young adults across Pierce County!

"We need more doctors, educators, and engineers, yes; but we also need more electricians, plumbers, and pipe fitters"

- Jonathan Jackson, Executive Director


Happy Grad_Logo with est._Black and Blue

Physical Address - 2141 South J St, Tacoma, WA 98405

Mailing Address - PO Box 7119, Tacoma, WA 98417

Phone - (253) 572-9008

Email -

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