About Us

Mission

The Western Success Scholars program is committed to improving the educational outcomes for students who have experienced foster care or homelessness by providing services and support to meet their needs through transition, graduation, and post-graduate planning.

 

WSS History

The Western Success Scholars was launched in Fall 2019 to improve graduation rates for youth who have experienced foster care or homelessness, with financial support from a foundation in the Puget Sound region.

 

 

Meet the WSS Team

Lorrie smiles while standing in front of various trees

Lorrie: Program Manager

Pronouns: She/Her

Phone:  360-650-4133

Email: bortuzl@wwu.edu

Education: AA in Recreation Leadership (Confederation College), B.A. and M.S. in Ethnic/Multicultural Studies (MSU, Mankato)

Hello Everyone! I have worked in Higher Education Student Affairs and within the non-profit sector for twenty years with a focus on access and success of under-represented students and community services and development. I am a visionary and implementer and ground myself in the belief that developing strong relationships is the foundation to building a community of care and support. I am passionate about my work with the Western Success Scholars and am excited to share my personal and professional experience with the Success Scholars to help them become empowered advocates of their own educational goals.

Quote: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Author Unknown

 

Megan is standing in the forest in front of a creek

Megan: WSS Garden Project Leader

Pronouns: She/Her

Major: Environmental education 

Hiya! I’m Megan one of the WSS Garden Project Leaders. I'm so excited to be using my knowledge of plants and food to help grow our community! When I'm not admiring my leafy friends, I enjoy relaxing with yoga or long walks in the forests. I would love to show you our garden space here at the Outback!   

Quote: "Don't you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can't be exactly who you are." - Lady Gaga 

Suneeta Eisenberg standing outside smiling with buildings in background

Suneeta Eisenberg

Pronouns: She/Her

WSS Passport Success Coach

Hello~ I have worked as an educator in both the K-12 partnerships and higher-education in both teaching and coaching capacity. I possess dependable strengths such as creativity, positive-energy, organization, compassion, and most of all LOVE. There are many people that have influenced my life to shape me the way I am and my only desire in life is to now give back to the community that helped me obtain my first degree! I am delighted to be on the team for Western Success Scholars as it algins with my goals in life to support others in achieving their own path to greatness. 

Quote: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."  - Jane Goodall

Ella is standing in the woods near a river

Ella: Peer Navigator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Major: History and Anthropology

Bio: Hey all, My Name is Ella and I'm a History and Anthropology Major with an emphasis on medieval Europe. I have over three years of peer training and mentoring experience even though I am one of the newest members to join the Western Success Scholars team. My hope is that my knowledge and experience bring a unique twist to program planning and mentoring in a safe, constructive, and encouraging way. I look forward to all that this program has to offer its community. 

Quote: "Genius... is the fruit of labor and thought"  -Alexander Hamilton 

Kelly Chiat standing on a bridge over a busy street at night, city lights in background.

Kelly: Peer Navigator

Pronouns: She/Her

Major: Sociology 

Hi everyone! My name is Kelly and I’m the newest Peer Navigator for the Western Success Scholars. I’m majoring in Sociology which I’m super passionate about. If I’m not working or doing school you can usually find me being active at the gym or outside. My goal is to make sure everyone feels like they have a safe space here. I look forward to seeing some of y’all on campus or at one of our events! 

Quote: You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” - Robin Williams

Kyrie is learning against a railing near the water with Seattle skyline in background

Kyrie: Graphic Designer

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Major: Graphic Design

Hello, I’m Kyrie! I’m hoping to be able to do illustration in graphic design full-time, so you’ll usually find me jamming out to music in the corner with a mess of watercolors. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone around campus again!

Quote: "Just because something works does not mean it cannot be improved." -Shuri

Atiana smiling for the camera

Atiana: Peer Navigator

Major: Multidisciplinary Studies

Hello! My name is Atiana and I am so excited to be one of the newest additions to the WSS team! I am majoring in multidisciplinary studies with a focus in cultural history and development. My goal in this program is to help the members of this program as much as I can. I look forward to seeing everyone on campus and I hope you all have an amazing day.  

Quote: "It always seems impossible until its done" - Nelson Mandela

Picture of Kayla standing outside in the snow next to a snowman.

Kayla: Peer Navigator

Pronouns: She/Her

My names Kayla and I am a first gen - first year student at western. I am studying psychology anthropology, and am interested in WGS studies as well. I love all types of art, and have practice with photography, candle making, portrait sketches, and clay. I work on 2 farms currently as well as at a sailing/charter company. I want to use my time at western furthering my education, but also learning how I can positively impact those around me. I am excited to be part of such an amazing team of individuals, and sincerely hope that the space we work together to create, feels welcoming to everyone.

Quote: "There is no power for change, greater than a community discovering what it cares about."

-Margaret J Wheatley