About the Education Program

Since awarding its first college scholarship in 1967, Olympia Tumwater Foundation (OTF) has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships and grants and helped hundreds of students pursue undergraduate degrees. Scholarships are offered on the basis of both achievement and need to Thurston County residents attending college within the state of Washington. OTF also awards grants to local school districts and early childhood programs for innovative classroom projects.

The Foundation’s Educational Program offers:

Students Helped
In Scholarships Awarded
First Scholarship Award

I will never be able to fully express my gratitude toward this scholarship- the peace of mind that I carry with me going into my sophomore year, knowing how much harder it could have been if we didn’t have members of our community who cared about the cultivation of the next generation’s success. A friend once asked me, “If we don’t have hope, then what do we have?” If I didn’t have hope, I never would have applied and won this scholarship, and the course of my life would be different today. But as it is, I have the highest gratitude toward the Olympia Tumwater Foundation for helping me to attend Gonzaga for a future of memories, love, and educational success.

kamrowski_pp-Libby Kamrowski

Traditional Scholarships

Traditional scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 are awarded to Thurston County graduating high school seniors who plan to attend school within the State of Washington. Applicants will be screened for academic promise, 3.0 grade point average or better, work ethic, community involvement, and financial need.

As each high school will set their own deadline for the Olympia Tumwater Foundation scholarships, STUDENTS SHOULD CONTACT THEIR HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP COORDINATOR FOR SUBMISSION DETAILS. Each school will then forward their recommendations to the Foundation in late April each year.

Traditional Scholarship Committee,
Katie Schmidt Hurley, Education Program Chair

John Dodge
Mary Eldridge
Pat Gill
Ann Hampton
Hank Henry
Rikki Martinez
Richard Seaman, M.D.
Catherine Slagle
Sherie Story
Toni Weaver


Olympia Tumwater Foundation
P.O. Box 4098
Tumwater, WA 98501

Email: OTF@olytumfoundation.org
Office: (360) 943-2550

Application and Instructions on Applying for a Scholarship

Please download first and then open application from your computer before entering information. Please read instructions carefully!

Traditional Scholarships Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for a scholarship from the Olympia Tumwater Foundation?

Graduating high school seniors in Thurston County who plan to attend a university within the State of Washington.

How do we contact you?

ALL INQUIRIES must go through your high school counselor.

Can we apply online?

You can download an application through our website but you need to take your completed application to your high school counselor. The Olympia Tumwater Foundation WILL ONLY accept applications from your high school counselor.

Where else will applications be available?

Applications will be available with your high school counselor.

What happens if I mail the scholarship application in without my high school counselor’s signature?

Unfortunately we will be unable to accept the application and it will be returned.

Who selects the scholarship recipients?

First, your school reviews/screens applications based on our criteria and select a limited number of candidates to move forward. At the Foundation, a group of dedicated volunteers (traditional scholarship committee) screen all applications and select finalists for interviews. Final selection follows the interview process.

What are the deadlines and other important dates I should know?

Scholarship applications are due from your school to the Foundation by Friday, April 24, 2015. It is very important to follow your schools’ internal requirements for scholarship applications.Personal interviews are scheduled for Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Schmidt House in Tumwater.Awards Reception – Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 5:00 p.m. at the Schmidt House in Tumwater.

I want to attend an out-of-state university; can I apply for the Foundation’s scholarships?

Sorry, the Foundation only offers scholarships to students who plan to attend a public or private college, university or technical school within the State of Washington.

Do I need to send any additional information along with my application?

Yes, you need to include a copy of your high school transcript, student aid report (FAFSA) and any school financial aid offer documents.

What do you mean by financial need?

Financial need is different for each individual. The more information you can provide us the better equipped we will be to make a decision on your application. Did something change in the last twelve months or since you completed your FAFSA application? Let us know, take time to clearly fill out your application and make a case to us on why you should be selected to receive the scholarship.

2018 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Grant Committee Members

Early Learning Grants

The Olympia Tumwater Foundation, in its efforts to increase and enhance educational programs in Thurston County, is dedicated to providing educators with funds to implement and administer learning opportunities that go beyond the basic available funding of the program. This is reflected in our mission statement:

To invest in early learning opportunities that contribute to a solid foundation for lifelong success.

Grants are offered to school districts, early childhood education programs, and K-3 curriculums located in Thurston County to fund innovative, sustainable projects. Individual grants vary in size from around $300 to $3,000.

Applications will be evaluated based on the following goals of the grant program:

  • To stimulate student creativity and motivation to learn.
  • To enhance the current learning environment.
  • To leave a lasting impact on as many students as possible.

The Olympia Tumwater Foundation has funded over $135,000 in early learning grants to deserving Thurston County Educators since 2006.

2019 grant applications must be received by October 25, 2019. Please contact John Freedman at our Foundation office for additional information: OTF@olytumfoundation.org or 360-943-2550.


Prior Grant Awardees

Rainier School District
Engaging Differentiated Learners
Award amount: $420

Timberland Library
Explore Timberland
Award amount: $1,000

ESD 113
Extending Storytime
Award amount: $1,000

Tumwater School District
Literacy Learning Lab
Award amount: $610

Family Education & Support Services
Parenting & Family Values
Award amount: $1,000

Child Care Action Council
Raising A Reader
Award amount: $1,500

South Sound Pediatrics 
Reach Out & Read
Award amount: $1,500

Michael T. Simmons
Math Intervention
Award amount: $1,500

Peter G Schmidt Elem.
I Can Be A Reader
Award amount: $2,000

Rainier Elementary
Award amount: $550

Meadows Elementary
STEM Program Supplies
Award amount: $1,600

South Sound Reading Foundation
Mathematizing Story Time
Award amount: $1,750

Pioneer Elementary
Award amount: $600

Committee Members

Laurel Seaman, Grant Committee Chair
Sue Breidenbach     Karen Fieldman
Gail Dickerman        Loretta Hanft
Tammie Ensign        Sherry O’Connor


Olympia Tumwater Foundation
P.O. Box 4098
Tumwater, WA 98501

Email: OTF@olytumfoundation.org
Office: (360) 943-2550

Grants Frequently Asked Questions

Can I file my grant application by mail?

Yes, you may print the grant application & grant evaluation packet from our website and mail it in.

Can I administer my own funds?

If you are a school teacher funds will be sent to your principal or school superintendent to be available for your use.

Is the grant evaluation mandatory?


Are the grants restricted to just public schools and organizations??

No, private organizations are welcome to apply too.


Get In Touch Today!

Send messageclear