The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools (VPS) held its 20th annual Bright Futures Luncheon on May 4, 2023. Over 500 supporters gathered to help celebrate a bright future for Vancouver youth, raising $230,000 in support of the 22,000 students in 37 VPS schools and programs across the district.
Thanks to event sponsors, all money raised during the luncheon goes directly to support a wide range of student needs, learning enrichment experiences, mentoring support, and family-engagement.
“Our community inspires me daily and our luncheon was an incredible reminder of that inspiration. When we collaborate, supporting one another, our work becomes a longer lasting impact and that is beautiful! Thank you so much to everyone who took a moment to pause and come out to the luncheon to build community with us. Your investment, of time, money, and resources, is the reason why we can do the work we do at the Foundation and we couldn’t do it without you,” said Jenny Thompson, Executive Director.
Diana Avalos-Leos, a former Foundation for VPS board member, First Citizen Award recipient, and Latino Leadership Northwest founder hosted the event along with Sam Crawford, a VPS alum and member of the Foundation’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee. Speakers also included VPS Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell and Foundation for VPS Board of Directors President Amy Davis.
Many students and their advisors contributed to the Luncheon. Guests enjoyed a meal prepared and served by culinary students from Fort Vancouver High School Center for International Studies. Hudson’s Bay High School horticulture students designed the floral centerpieces and stage arrangements and entertainment was provided by Fort Vancouver High School’s Ballet Folklórico dancers. Students of Flex Academy created artwork for the event’s silent auction.
During the event, the Foundation for VPS debuted a new video featuring an original poem by spoken word artist, Brianna Renae. In the poem, Renae states, “At the Foundation, we are working towards building a garden of equal opportunity for aspirations of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. In this garden, there is no seed too big, no need to unique, and no disparity that can’t be fixed.” The audience was asked to consider what seeds they would plant to bring opportunities for all students.
For over 35 years, the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools has leveraged financial support from the community to remove barriers so students come to school healthy, happy and ready to learn. The Foundation funds basic needs, mentoring, enrichment, early education, including support for VPS’s Family-Community Resource Centers.