discover | develop | deploy

a new generation of leaders who love their city

Learn MoreOur Initiatives

Here at NLF, we love the city, and believe that it is through cultivating leaders in love and service that our urban spaces are transformed.

Explore below to learn more about how we seek to bring about real and long-lasting change in our city.

Core Initiatives

NLF identifies collaborative approaches to solve some of the city’s most urgent and intractable issues. Explore our core initiatives and key services clicking on the images below.

Contact us for More Information

Recent News

Controlling Lifestyle Factors: How About Taking a Walk?

We may not always be able to control all the factors leading to breast cancer, however, when it comes to factors of lifestyle, which account for the largest percentage of occurrences, we actually have a lot of control. Lifestyle of course includes…

Meet Janet De La Cruz- Mentor & Mentee 

What's a mentor? Meet one of ours, who also coordinates Mentor253, Janet De La Cruz. Janet embodies what it truly means to be a mentor because of her experience as a mentee. Having been on both ends, Janet has experienced mentorship full-circle. Her experience…
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Trinity Presbyterian Church Shapes Urban Leaders

The Northwest Leadership Foundation believes that it is through collaboration that our cities become better; there is no better example than our partnership with Trinity Presbyterian Church. Going back more than 16, Trinity's continued partnership…
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Celebrating Culture, Celebrating Lives Past

We were excited to partner once again this year with the Tacoma Art Museum to host Tacoma's 12 Annual Dia De Los Muertos Community Celebration. Translated into English, Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that focuses on gathering family  and…
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Profile in Leadership - Liesl Santkuyl

As the driving force behind one of our newest initiatives here at NLF, Leaders in Women's Health, we are so incredible blessed to have a coalition of more than 50 community members who care deeply about improving issues of equity embedded in…

Addressing Barriers to Care

Since embarking on this journey to save lives by urging women to get screened for breast cancer, I’ve given the crucial message many times that breast cancer mortality rates are higher among women of color. In response to which comes the inevitable…

Our Sisters & Friends Campaign has Launched!

As National Breast Cancer Awareness month is now full swing, we want to encourage as many people as possible to get screened for breast cancer! Remember, African American women are disproportionately affected by the disease in terms of both…
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Meet Kevin Castellanos- Act Six Scholar, Community Leader

What's an Act Six Scholar? Meet one of our scholars who embodies Act Six by leading at school, in the community and for his family, Kevin Castellanos. A native to Tacoma and former Mt. Tahoma T-Bird, Kevin is a sophomore at Pacific Lutheran…

Tacoma Students are Ready to Rise!

Preparing Tacoma students to be successful in college and beyond as the next generation of diverse emerging leaders This past summer, we accomplished our second year of the Catalyst Academy, with 33 rising college freshman who just graduated…
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Proteen Plus Summer 2016

Learn, Serve, Lead This past summer Proteen was busy piloting a paid seven week internship for 20 young men and women who face some of the most challenging barriers to be successful. The Proteen Summer Internship specifically provided internships…

Act Six Alumna, Nicolette Viken, reflecting back

We recently had the chance to catch up with Act Six Alumna, Nicolette Viken, part of the first graduating cadres of Trinity Lutheran College. Three years now out of college, she reflects on her journey in her own words:   My high…
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Operationalizing A Vision

In this election season, there seems to be no lack of individuals and groups with a vision for the future. While we could debate how persuasive or sincere some of these competing visions are, perhaps a more compelling question for us to consider…
NLF Staff Receive PLU Service Award (right to left: Saiyare Refaei, Noah Baskett, PLU Studnt, Patricia Talton, Nancy Vignec

NLF Honored by PLU Service Award

This past April, NLF was honored to receive the 2016 Ron Pierre Vignec Community Partner Award. A part of PLU’s Annual “Celebration of Service” hosted by its Center for Community Engagement and Service (CCES), NLF was selected for this…

New Act Six Alum - Investor, Entrepreneur

Meet Bello Dondja. Trinity Lutheran College, Cadre 5 Having just graduated this past May from Trinity Lutheran College, Bello is an excellent example of a young leader who we have had the chance to walk alongside for the past 5 years. Bello’s…

NLF Honored by Susan G. Komen Foundation

We are incredibly proud and honored to announce that the Northwest Leadership Foundation was selected as a grantee by the Susan G. Komen Foundation this past week for our work through the Leaders in Women's Health initiative. Leaders in…
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Meet Marleisha Cox - Act Six Scholar Profile

Meet one of our newest Act Six scholars, Marleisha Cox. A 19 year old native of Seattle’s White Center neighborhood, Marleisha is a freshman attending Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social…

Mentor253 - Relationships Matter!

NLF is excited to announce that we are revitalizing one of our core initiatives, Mentor253. Mentor253 began in 2007 by daily providing one-on-one mentoring at Mcilvaigh and Gault Middle Schools, and later at First Creek Middle School. A core…

Tacoma's Urban Lecture Series Welcomes James Alison

The Northwest Leadership Foundation, as a member organization of Tacoma's Urban Lecture Series, was proud to welcome Theologian James Alison Tacoma  on Monday, April 25th. James is known for exploring the work of anthropologist René Girard, its…

Act Six 2016 Senior Capstone - Reflecting on the Past, Planning for the Future

In April, the Northwest Leadership Foundation celebrated the upcoming graduation of 29 Act Six Scholars from Whitworth, Gonzaga, PLU, Northwest and Trinity Lutheran College. The reunion allowed the graduating scholars a final opportunity to…

Shadow and Light in this Lenten Season

Most of us are well aware of the interplay of shadow and light. The season of Lent invites us into being attentive to those shadows, both in our world and lives, with the belief that God's spirit inhabits those places, despite all evidence…

Improving Health Equity, Uncovering Resources

Over the years, the Northwest Leadership Foundation has discovered innovative strategies to address systemic issues such as college retention rates and disproportionate minority contact and confinement.  Since 2012, NLF has hosted the Leaders…
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Welcome back ULT!

(Left: Self Defense class with Tasha Ina Church, Middle: Backstage Pass Tour of Tacoma with NLF President/CEO Patricia Talton and Executive VP Annie Jones Barnes, Right: Scavenger Hunt of Tacoma during ULT Orientation Week)   Urban…
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Friends Reunited in Service - From the Islands to Tacoma

Hayley Uliana and second year ULT member, Kyle Lee are both serving at Trinity Presbyterian Church this year. These childhood friends grew up in Hawaii and have been reunited for a year of service together on the ULT AmeriCorps Team. Read about…

Meet Act Six Alumnus, Augustine Ajuogu

Northwest Cadre One, Graduated from University of Oxford with Masters of Immunology Meet Augustine Ajuogu, an Act Six alumnus from the first cadre of Northwest University.  He has been an on whirl-wind adventure since graduating in 2013. After…
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Governer Inslee Recognizes NLF

As part of a news release, Governor Jay Inslee recognized the Northwest Leadership Foundation as a successful AmeriCorps grant recipient. See the full announcement HERE. We are so grateful for the opportunity to continue our important work…

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Adaptive Leadership  In light of celebrating 25 years of amazing service and leadership in the Tacoma community the Northwest Leadership Foundation will be hosting a short blog series of some ways we can increase effectiveness in our fellow…

Labyrinth in Tacoma Will Change Your Life

Though not as bizarre as Bowie’s 1986 cult-classic, this understated labyrinth has the beauty and potential to change your life in a subtle, happy kind of way. Labyrinths, different from mazes, have only one path that always leads to the center, because a labyrinth is supposed to help you find things (a moment to yourself, a sense of being centered, etc.) not get lost.

COURAGE to End Domestic Violence Rally: Friday in Tollefson Plaza

Domestic violence is not as a private family matter, but a crime with serious consequences not only for the individuals and families directly involved but for the community as a whole.

Grand Opening: J Kinlow School of Barbering & Cosmetology

A native of Tacoma, Jason Kinlow is a local master barber and small business owner that started from humble beginnings when Jason began cutting hair as a way to make a few extra dollars while in college. Today, twenty years later, Jason owns…
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Beat Breast Cancer: Stay Aware, Stay Healthy, Stay Alive!

This October, Northwest Leadership Foundation is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among African American women. Additionally, African American women with…
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Three Scholarships that Give More Than Dollars & the Best Online Resource for WA Scholarships

If you are graduating from high school soon and planning on attending college, then you will want to apply for scholarships. The nice thing about scholarships is that you don’t need to repay this money like you may need to do when it…