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Smith-Barbieri Fund Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to an incoming member of the adult Leadership Spokane program who demonstrates a passion for his/her community, who is making a lasting life transition and who has a desire to step up to leadership. The candidate must also have a demonstrated financial need that would make Leadership Spokane tuition a barrier to participation in the program.

“We understand how challenging it can be to make lasting life transitions without a community of support around you,” stated Sharon Smith and Don Barbieri.  “We are working to eradicate the systemic causes that lead to hardships like domestic violence, substance abuse, unemployment and incarceration, but we know that these things still happen. For those times, we work to ensure our vulnerable citizens have access to tools and resources to achieve sustainable well-being and to make their voices heard in community decision making.”

“I have asked myself whether one has to have money or position or a life of advantages in order to be a leader,” remarked Linda Finney. “I think that people coming from challenging backgrounds have much to contribute to the leadership table.  By funding an annual scholarship to Leadership Spokane, the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund is removing some of those barriers.” John Lemus, Community Relations Facilitator at Skils’Kin was the first individual to receive this scholarship at Commencement 2014.

About the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund

The Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund aims to build upon our region’s strong foundation to ensure that those in need have every opportunity to succeed. With strong community partnerships, creativity and tenacity, we work to reduce poverty, broaden low-cost/affordable housing, foster a more dynamic constituency and spotlight our region.

If you are Interested in applying for this scholarship, please send and email to