South Whidbey High School alumni establish new foundation

The alumni’s mission is to reengage with the community that raised them.

A trio of South Whidbey High School alumni have joined forces to form a new nonprofit foundation with the mission of reengaging with the community that raised them.

Levi Sawyers, Parker Barnett and Hunter Hawkins are all 2008 graduates who share fond memories of growing up on South Whidbey, from team sports to other recreational activities such as hiking, swimming, fishing and hunting.

“Kids on the island pre-cell phone days, we would play tag in the dark, hide-and-go-seek in Langley,” Barnett recalled with a laugh.

Last year the friends decided to launch the South Whidbey Project, which aims to improve the community through public projects, education, engagement and opportunity. They started by putting together $40,000 of their own resources to invest in the community.

“Even though we’re all in the heart of our careers living on the mainland in Seattle, we wanted to give back somehow,” Sawyers said.

The first initiative is a scholarship for a graduating South Whidbey senior interested in furthering their education. At $6,000, it’s one of the single largest scholarships currently available to students.

Essay prompts give youth the chance to think outside of the box, with topics centering around proposing a solution to a community challenge and a plan for promoting environmental stewardship.

“One of the cool parts about the scholarship is it’s not centered on GPA,” Sawyers said, adding that it focuses on the individual student as a whole.

Students have until 10 a.m. on March 29 to submit an application for consideration. To apply, visit

“I can say with full confidence that this would have been a nice scholarship to have back then,” Barnett said.

Sawyers, who at one point could not afford to continue attending university and had to save up before going back, agreed that a scholarship such as this would have benefited his education.

Besides offering a scholarship, the South Whidbey Project is hoping to find other areas of the community to monetarily support. People with ideas are encouraged to email

“We’re not coming in with solutions, we’re looking to listen to the opportunities that exist today,” Sawyers said. “We feel like we can step in and make the impact.”

Visit for more information or to donate to the nonprofit. All proceeds go directly to the community.