Palmer Scholars is pleased to announce that we have hired two Pathways Navigators to aid our work in recruiting and supporting Scholars going through our Palmer Pathways program. The two navigators, Pamila Gant and Mandy Aaberg bring with them a wealth of experience and are excited to hit the ground running as the cohort is set to begin in October. Below are bios each wrote to introduce themselves to the Palmer Scholars family.
Pamila has dedicated her career to helping young adults navigate life, education and career. She has worked for 10 years at Seattle University in undergraduate admissions. She will tell you it was her work in college admissions that gave her great joy and reinforced her love of helping others. She left SU after 11 years to work with the newly formed Washington Education Foundation (later they would become the College Success Foundation) as their College Relations Officer. There she was instrumental in managing scholarship disbursements, tracking academic progress and graduation as well as developing relationships with many college partners statewide.
She last worked at MENTOR Washington where she was the Sr. Program Officer overseeing the training and technical assistance for their program partners. She worked with seven mentoring coalitions around Washington state to help create common cause campaigns such as: “back to school,” national mentoring month, mentor recruitment and mentor training among many other needs/concerns. Locally she has worked with partner programs to “take the hill” in Olympia during the MLK holiday part of the awareness and advocacy for youth mentoring.
Pamila lives by this mantra: ‘Every child deserves to have someone who will stand with them regardless of their background and help them achieve the potential they possess.’
I am excited to be a part of Palmer Scholars and to serve the youth in Tacoma! I have lived in Tacoma for 15 years now and gladly call this my home, along with my husband and young son. While this is not where I grew up, I feel a strong connection to the community. Tacoma is a very diverse city surrounded by mountains, ocean, industry, arts, entertainment, and culture. I have enjoyed watching it grow, develop, and thrive over the years. My previous professional experience is in teaching, education, and non-profit work. I have a Bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College and a Master’s Degree from the SIT Graduate Institute. I have a passion for working with diverse populations, creating connections, and providing skill building that leads to student and program success. I have taught College Success, ABE, English, math, Spanish, Environmental Education, GED classes, Sustainable Development, and Leadership for youth and adults, in and out of the US. I also have worked for many organizations in a mentoring, teaching, coaching, management, and leadership capacity. I enjoy the opportunity to further develop student’s skills and facilitate greater content knowledge, understanding, and self-reflection. My goal is to make connections with people and empower them with the knowledge, information, and skills they need to reach their individual goals.
I look forward to working with youth in a new capacity at Palmer Scholars, navigating scholars through the program, learning new skills and trades, and helping youth realize their goals. Along the way I hope to spark a love of learning. I truly believe education is a pathway to your goals, whether they be academic, professional, or personal. That education doesn’t necessarily need to be through the traditional route of higher education. This is an ever-changing world we live in and there are many ways to find your “right fit”. A college degree is not the answer for everyone, nor is it necessarily a need in today’s economy. I’ve always been a fan of choices and opportunity. I have lived in many places where those aren’t easy to come by. There are many routes to success if you are determined, set realistic goals, give your best effort, use your resources, and really commit to what it takes. I guarantee all your effort will pay off in the end.