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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a global philanthropy, but our roots are in the Pacific Northwest, where the Gates family has lived for generations. Here at home, we invest in improving education from preschool through college, preventing family homelessness, and strengthening community engagement, in order to ensure that every child has a chance to reach their full potential, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or family income.

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Teacher Tech Project

Ask-A-Teacher Help Desks and Resource Guides for the top 5 learning platforms, plus instructional modules to help teachers take their in-person practices online. By Washington teachers, for Washington teachers.

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Washington Census Equity Fund

The foundation is providing $750,000 to support 77 grantees across 83 grants, working in 36 of Washington’s 39 counties to reach historically hard-to-count communities.

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December 2021 Newsletter: 3 reasons we’re grateful

Recently, I listened to a brief audio clip of Eastern Washington University Professor Philip Watkins describing the findings of his research on gratitude. (Gratitude research sounds like a pretty amazing job.) Professor Watkins found that the participants who wrote down three things they were grateful for were able to sustain their happiness longer than those who only recalled happy memories. So, as we head into the holidays and I look ahead to my first full year as director of the Washington State Initiative in 2022, let me take a few moments here to put that into practice.

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November 2021 Newsletter: Honoring the original stewards of Washington’s land

November is Native American Heritage Month, an important time for us to honor and recognize the 34 nations and tribes who have lived and worked in Washington state for more than 10,000 years. We started the month in an uplifting way with Rena Priest, an enrolled member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation and current Washington State Poet Laureate, sharing her work in a virtual meeting with foundation staff, at the invitation of our newly formed Indigenous Communities Engagement employee group.

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Honoring Native American Heritage Month

The Gates Foundation is grateful to call Washington state home. We also honor and recognize the 34 nations who have lived and worked here for more than 10,000 years—long before the Gates family established roots in the region. As a philanthropic organization, we have an opportunity to move beyond acknowledgment and move in a direction that puts resources back into the community.

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October 2021 Newsletter: Helping students see a path to college

Bill Gates recently shared a success story about two bright high school seniors in Texas. The students, concerned about the admissions process and debt, had no plans to go to college. With guidance and support from a College Advising Corps member, both students found their way to higher education programs.

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