Home Filipino Community of Seattle: Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time Grantee Profile

Filipino Community of Seattle: Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time Grantee Profile

SOWA is excited to work with the many amazing organizations funded through the King County Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time (BSK OST) investment! These organizations, funded either as stand alone People of Color-Led organizations or Place-Based Partnerships, are all working hard to maximize their positive impact on King County youth. 

Learn more about Filipino Community of Seattle, funded as part of a  People of Color-Led Organization grant. 


Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS) is “committed to promoting cultural diversity, ethnic pride, unity, and educational and socioeconomic empowerment among Filipino Americans in the Pacific Northwest”. They have run middle and high school programs focused around team building and STEAM education, predominantly funded through United Way. Their staff had very limited hours, and had to be incredibly creative with their crafty programming—often using Dollar Tree materials for STEAM offerings.  

With the BSK OST investment, FCS has been able to expand in multiple ways. They are now able to offer elementary school programming, and piloted a Filipino STEAM camp this year. Staff hours increased, and specific camp staff were also hired. Additionally, a parent was the teacher, which promoted a family-oriented community feel. This has resulted in numerous families becoming engaged in programming asking for follow-up services. High school programming ran at the same time, and staff were able to see for one or two days a week what it would be like to have their dream of K-12 program offerings realized. They also have bigger toys in the classroom, which youth and staff alike are excited about. At Southshore, prior to STEAM club there weren’t any after-school programs running. Now FCS is able to have a bigger influence on the future of after-school programming at the site.  

SOWA’s supports come at opportune time for FCS, as their youth programs are being revamped and now we can aid in the development and sustainability of those programs. With the excitement around the new summer camp offerings which involved the high school programs, families will be able to see that high quality youth programming can become a consistent part of their community. SOWA’s responsive relationship as grant-maker with FCS and our readiness coaching services empowers their organization to create unique opportunities for more programming that engages the whole family. After the pilot summer camp, parents were eager for longer camps in the future and a group of community members are starting a parent committee to contribute to the sustainability of the program.

The POC-Led funding model is a unique structure which incubates some equally unique experiences. STEAM Camp was a group of 15 Filipino kids in an environment which focused solely on their culture, and Filipino program staff were given the freedom to create that environment. POC-Led organization often struggle without the infrastructure and support that bigger, mainstream nonprofits have. Grassroots programs are starting at a different standpoint, have different priorities, and different trajectories. This funding recognizes these differences and elevates their value while also addressing organizational capacity disparities.