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Vivian Winston Scholarship

Awarding funds to local mothers juggling the cost of tuition and childcare.

Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit and exemplary character with preference given to students demonstrating financial need. The value of the award is $1,500 to $4,000.


About the Scholarship

A scholarship fund was established in 2006 to honor WHWF Co-Founder, Vivian Winston. Winston focused on social justice work, long before it was trendy. She was an early advocate for women and children, a member of Spokane’s chapter of the League of Women Voters from its inception in 1948, as well as the first woman president of Spokane’s United Way in 1969.


Meet the 2023-24 Scholars

Current VWS


Spokane Community College

"I am a first- generation college student, just graduating nursing school. I am a daughter, a wife, a friend and a mother of 7 children. I am an immigrant from east Africa (Burundi) who struggled from dropping out of high school and later got an opportunity to come in the US in 2013.

I became a refugee in Tanzania at six years old, which is where I found my dream of becoming a nurse and give back to my community considering how much help we’ve got medically during hard times. This scholarship had helped me to navigate school and child care which is why I graduated March 21, 2024 from nursing school. I look forward to furthering my career in obstetrics women health.



Spokane Community College

"I am a mother of three girls desperately trying to change our poverty striken path. Myself and my two oldest girls have been homeless, suffered abuse, I have experience with the justice system, and my girls have been pulled thru countless court battles.

Over the last three years I have pulled us out of the grips of child protective services, got them away from their abuser, remained free from justice involvement, secured and maintained stable housing, and I'm about to graduate SCC with an associates degree. I'm enrolling at Eastern WA University to study Political Science and Gonzaga for a dual Law degree. This is so I can continue to help shape public policies that benefit low income families in our city, state, and country."



Spokane Community College

"I am originally from California born and raised. I moved to Spokane with two suitcases and two little babies with not much to offer as far as stability or financial. I am following in the footsteps of two powerful women who are no longer in my life, but put a stamp on me to become a nurse in the healthcare for women. I chose to return to college not only for personal growth but also to provide a better future for my family.

The decision to pursue nursing was driven by my passion for helping others and making a positive impact in the healthcare field. This opportunity, made possible through a scholarship, represents more than just financial support. It symbolizes belief in my potential, belief in the transformative power of education a greater lifestyle for my kiddos."



Whitworth University

"In the upcoming year, I will be finishing up my bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice Administration at Whitworth University. Once I graduate, my plan is to transition into law school. Acquiring a law degree is essential for me to accomplish my goal of enhancing access to justice to all. I am incredibly thankful for the unwavering support I have received from those who have guided me throughout my educational journey.

Despite facing various challenges along the way, organizations like Women Helping Women have lightened my burden. Their encouragement, along with the support of my family, has played a crucial role in propelling me towards my dream of attending law school. I am truly grateful to all of them."



Spokane Falls Community College

"I am a mother of five beautiful children. I have had my share of struggles, from becoming a young mother to losing my mother and other loved ones. I have lost my children to Child Protective Services, struggled with drug addiction and so much more. Today I can tell you that I don’t let all of that define me. I have fought like hell to pull myself out of where I was to where I am today. I continue every day to try and better myself for myself and my family.

During this fight I got my children back, I am working nearly full-time and I am now also going to college. I am currently enrolled in an Addiction Studies program to get my associate degree. I want to help other people who are struggling and want or need to get help. I know how hard it can be and I can relate. I want to give back to my community. The way I feel like I can give back in by showing others that it is possible even when things seem impossible."


Application Information

VWS App Infomaton


To qualify for the Vivian Winston Scholarship, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • Female student at Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, Washington State University-Spokane, Whitworth University, Spokane Falls Community College, Spokane Community College, or a trade/certificate program

  • Pursuing an Associate Degree, Bachelor's Degree or special certification (including trade or technical)

  • A resident of Spokane County while attending school

  • Have dependent child(ren) requiring child care during the 2024-25 school year

Application and Award Timeline

  • Applications may be submitted between April 1, 2024 and  January 31, 2025. 

  • Finalists will be notified in early February 2025 and asked to participate in an interview.

  • Recipients will be notified in April 2025.


Application Tips

  • Follow directions. If you have any questions, reach out to our office at 509.328.8285 (call or text) or

  • Make sure your essay responses are complete and include detail. We want to get to know you!

  • Highlight your strengths, passions and successes.

  • Read through the entire application before writing answers.

  • Ask a family member, teacher or counselor to review your application for errors.


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