Apply for a fellowship to develop and train local leaders

Jane’s Fellows are people in Pierce County who are willing to lead even without formal job titles, institutions and structures. They are often outside the spotlight. They are people of caring and vision who stay involved in tough causes despite the challenges, and they inspire action.

In 2004, the Russell Family foundation ( launched Jane’s Fellowship Program to support grassroots leaders in Tacoma and Pierce County. Each class of fellows participates in a 15-month leadership experience before becoming part of the graduate network.


Jane’s Fellowship Program is named for Jane T. Russell, who was a community leader and businesswoman from Tacoma. Her life’s mission was to improve Pierce County by investing in its people — especially grassroots leaders. Jane’s Fellowship supports those who demonstrate exceptional creativity, courage and commitment to the diverse needs of Tacoma and Pierce County.


The application period for the Jane’s Fellowship Program (Class 8) is now open. The deadline for submitting materials is September 1, 2018.

Questions? There are several upcoming information sessions (schedule posted below). Don’t hesitate to contact us at or 253-857-1664. Thank you for your interest in the Jane’s Fellowship Program.

Information Sessions

July 17th | Tuesday 6-7:30pm

Location | Eatonville Library | 205 Center St. W. Eatonville, WA 98328

July 26th | Thursday 6:30-8PM

Location | Parkland Library 13718 Pacific Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98444

August 2nd | Thursday 7-830pm Conference Call

Location | via Conference Call. Dial in information forthcoming.

August 11th | Saturday 1030-12pm

Location | The Mustard Seed Project | 9016 154th Avenue CT. KP N, Lakebay, WA 98349

August 18th | Saturday 2-3:30pm Conference Call (details available later)

Stories of Tacoma residents who have recently participated in the program are below:

Eva ‘Eve’ Bowen, Class 3

Eve recently retired from thirty-five years of teaching and is continuing her involvement with education through non-profit work. She’s currently involved with the planning of the fourth Race and Pedagogy National Conference to be held at the University of Puget Sound, Sept. 27th-29th, 2018. Additionally, as a retired teacher, she’ll be presenting on the issues of race/racism this summer for the Masters in Teaching program at UPSound. As a steering committee member of Vibrant Schools Tacoma, she provides strategy input for the critical partnership Vibrant Schools has with Tacoma Public Schools. Eve lives with her husband in Tacoma and was raised in a rural community in Ohio. She says of Jane’s Fellowship Program, “The Fellowship honors the grassroots work of social justice by infusing expertise to create a collaborative cohort of supportive like-minded fellows, who get exposed to the individual work and passion of each one, as well as to developed community work by other grassroots community groups in the area. Opportunities for skills development, training and financial support add to the sustainability of each Fellows endeavors.”

Aaron Goodge, Class 6

In 2014 Aaron Goodge founded Toolbox, a General Contracting business that provides quality home repair services to all with no qualifying factors. Aaron began his career in the construction industry over 15 years ago. During his time in the trade, he has consistently strived to find the channels that put his skills to work in the community, with the goal of adding to the quality of life for everyone. After moving to Tacoma and working in maintenance for providers of low-income housing and a local remodeling company, Aaron decided to take the plunge and work full time on his passion.  Toolbox operates under the standard of “Quality Craftsmanship for Everyone”. Its mission is to provide home repair, remodeling and consulting to the community regardless of ability to pay. Through Toolbox, Aaron is able to counsel renters on how to talk to property owners about repairs and advise property owners on how to effectively maintain their units to provide safe, decent, sanitary living conditions. Today, Aaron has begun hosting workshops in his woodshop. The classes are free, and the projects are based off community requests and need.

  – The Russell Family Foundation