Congratulations Class of 2022!
In the spring of 2022, the Community Foundation awarded $178,250 in scholarships to 53 students across Thurston, Mason, and Lewis counties.
Each year, the Community Foundation awards a wide variety of students with scholarships to assist them with the cost of higher education. Scholarships are an important part of our community; by directly supporting education, these dollars improve individual futures and, by extension, strengthen our communities.
The students (full list below) who receive these scholarships could not be more deserving of these gifts! We are so proud of all the recipients and grateful to the donors who make these scholarships possible, which is why we are also delighted to introduce you to one of this year’s scholarship students, Cashmere Tobias, and the family of the newly established Elizabeth Libby White Memorial Scholarship.
Student Spotlight: Cashmere Tobias
Cashmere’s applicant essay vulnerably traces the challenges he’s faced as a Black transgender student, culminating in the long days of the COVID-19 lockdown when the spaces of refuge he had developed at school dissolved. After months of isolation, he reached out and constructed a new path forward.
“In an effort to weave connections with the outside world again” he says, he applied for a fellowship with Stonewall Youth. Through the organization, he spoke to queer youth virtually, encouraging them “that they were seen, that we were still connected while being physically apart.” Today, as Stonewall’s virtual events director, he “raise[s] the voices of queer, transgender, youth of color, through the expansive platforms of the online and in-person communities of downtown Olympia.”
Cashmere’s deep commitment to live fully as himself, his resilience, and his commitment to building community connections in the midst of adversity caught the eye of the scholarship committees. In the future, Cashmere plans to open a special place that uplifts people in the LGBTQIA+ community and promotes mental health.
“I believe our community deserves a space of artistic and emotional expression,” he says, adding that he’s grateful for the opportunity these Community Foundation scholarships give him to “transform what was initially a farfetched dream into a true possibility. I strive to change the hearts and emotions of those around me through the expression of music, and I now feel comfortable knowing I can pursue what I love. I hope to compose music scores for emotional movies and theatre plays and possibly make a large impression on the future of fine arts.”
We’re excited about Cashmere’s future and for the many people who will benefit from his authenticity and vision. We’re grateful to the McGimpsey family and the Learning Seed Foundation for supporting him and many other students in our community over the years.
New Scholarship: Elizabeth Libby White Memorial Scholarship
This year, the family of Elizabeth Libby White established a scholarship in her honor for students at Elizabeth’s alma mater, North Thurston High School. The Elizabeth Libby White Memorial Scholarship will help support graduates’ higher education goals.
The family chose to establish this fund because the NTHS community was important to Elizabeth. Elizabeth loved being involved in as many school activities as possible. She was deeply involved as a student, competing in volleyball, basketball, softball, and diving. While there, she also served as ASB historian, yearbook editor, and French club president. When she graduated in 1997, she was chosen by her classmates to speak at commencement.
She also grew up exploring the great outdoors at parks and lakes and on nature trails. She also raised animals in Thurston County.
After graduation, Elizabeth attended the University of Washington, where she pursued a double major in political science and communications. She graduated from UW in 2002. She later moved to Florida to be closer to her sister. There, she started a family and immersed herself in their well-being and in her local community. Her family notes that she “touched many lives with her generosity, compassion, and empathy.”
Elizabeth and her six sisters all graduated from NTHS. So did her father. The family has a long history in this area; her great-grandparents settled in the area and both Libby Road and Libby Creek in Thurston County were named after them.
Elizabeth knew a great education opened doors for a higher quality of life and happiness and would be delighted to know that both Isabella Kirk and Daniel Wolf will be able to pursue their higher educational dreams with more financial certainty. Her mother, father, sisters, cousins, and extended family members attended the June 6 ceremony to award her first-ever scholarship to these remarkable students. On behalf of the family, her older sister, Kris Estes, says they were all delighted to meet the first of many students who will benefit from this scholarship and from Elizabeth’s legacy. “We were tremendously moved and elated for both recipients.”
Class of 2022
Please join us in congratulating all of this year's scholarship recipients and all our communities' graduating seniors. You did it, and we are seriously proud of you!
Amanda Winters Scholarship
Andrew Williams Oakes Scholarship
Cody Brown Memorial Scholarship
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty Scholarship
Erik Curley “Inspirational Educator”
Donald & Patricia Ernst Olympia Kilwanis Endowed Scholarship
Ellen Anderson deMoise Scholarship
Elizabeth Libby White Memorial Scholarship
Griffen School Tiernan-Keigher Scholarship
Henry J. Melusky Memorial Scholarship
John & Opal McGimpsey Scholarship
L&E Bottling Company Scholarship
Learning Seed Foundation Scholarship
Makayla Grace Tajalle
Mary M. Knight Grade 13 Scholarship
Mike & Sharon Welsh Scholarship
Next Step Scholarship
OHS Faculty Memorial Scholarship
OHS Foundation Alfred Lewis Memorial Scholarship
OHS Foundation Laurie Callaghan Memorial Scholarship
Thurston Climate Action Scholarship