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

Contact us for More Information

Recent News

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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…
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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…
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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…
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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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A small gallery

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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.
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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…

Youth Summit puts Teens and Education in the Spotlight

  Local high school students get a “day off” class to be “turned on” to learning Friday, Sept. 26, in Memorial Fieldhouse on campus The 2014 Youth Summit at University of Puget Sound will offer something unusual to the young…
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25 Professional Volunteer Opportunities

The City is always look for applicants for its volunteer Committees, Boards and Commissions. Listed here are the latest openings. Here's how you apply. Find out how getting involved in one of the City of Tacoma’s committees, boards or…


Urban Leaders in Training, a program of Northwest Leadership Foundation, teamed up to participate in the Paint Tacoma Pierce Beautiful program. The program uses volunteer to paint the exteriors of homes of low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners…

Mayor Strickland and Executive McCarthy Kick Off Leadership Program to End Family Homelessness

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy joins Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland as Executive Sponsors of the Pierce County Leadership in Action Program (LAP), which launches today, Sept. 8. The Leadership in Action Program, developed by the Annie…

Trinity Presbyterian Supports Local Students

On September 3rd students from all around the Greater Tacoma area headed off to their first day of school. This is typically an exciting time for both the students and parents as they embark on another year in their scholarly journey. But for…
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A Summer of Possibility and Fun

It’s another interesting day at our new summer program, Proteen PLUS.  It looks like a cross between a horror film and an episode of Gray’s Anatomy.  There’s laughing and talking; there are young people wrapped in gauze and wearing surgical…