It never fails – the sense of gratitude that shines through when interviewing each of our Free Apartment Contest finalists.  Our committee had a tough job this year. They reviewed 70 amazing stories and selected four people to interview. Due to COVID-19, our team had to get creative with the interview process.  Zoom allowed us all to “get together” and learn more about these amazing individuals. It is with great admiration that we announce the 2020 winners!

Brian is a California native who made his way to the Seattle area for a change of pace.  Brian decided to transition from his career as a bartender and recently started his own business.  He is excited about the opportunity to focus his financial efforts on the growth of Ampersand Leather Co.  With a very astute eye for design, Brian is becoming exceptionally talented at custom made leather pieces. We encourage you to check out his website and support his efforts to operate a thriving local business!

Our second contest winner, Grace, grew up in Cashmere, WA and currently attends Seattle Pacific University.  She is the eldest of three, enjoyed being on the debate team in high school, and is actively pursuing a law career.  She is passionate about social justice and public policy. In addition to preparing herself for law school and working two jobs, she has been focused on a non-profit startup called UPHOLD.  For every backpack UPHOLD sells, they donate one to a child in foster care. Grace’s goal over the next year is to solidify investors for the project, as well as donors to fill the backpacks with much-needed toiletries for the recipients.  If you’d like to learn how you can be involved with UPHOLD, please reach out to our Brand Manager, Kaleen Skersies, and she will be happy to put you in touch with Grace.

Thank you to every individual who submitted an essay or video for the 2020 Free Apartment Contest.  We truly appreciate your willingness to open up, be vulnerable, and share your personal stories. We look forward to seeing the progression of Brian and Grace’s goals throughout the upcoming year!

If you’re a property owner who is interested in participating in the Free Apartment Program, we would love to chat with you!