Vocational Service

We draw on the application of Rotarians’ business and professional skills and experience to help others achieve their dreams, visions, causes, and projects. Often partnering with other organizations, we work with integrity by contributing expertise to society’s and local communities’ problems and needs.
Following are some of the programs we are involved in:

Following are some of the programs we are involved in:


Many kids come to school hungry, in need of clean clothes, with unaddressed health and dental issues. They often sleep in the open, in a car, or on a friend or relative’s couch. It is hard for them to focus on school when they carry such a heavy load. Communities In Schools of Peninsula (CISP) helps to ease that burden – by providing connections to resources and services and a kind, nonjudgmental attitude. Rotary is a CISP partner in this effort.

Rotarians have been volunteering for over 15 years as reading and math mentors and are vital in providing caring relationships to students who need extra help. Rotary members also serve on the board of directors for CISP and have been instrumental in the organization’s growth. Donations from the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Rotary have supported vital programs and services.


The First Tee Program provides educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices–using the game of golf as the vehicle. The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor is a partner in this outstanding program.

Open to all youth ages 5 -18, the program offers six levels of progression:

  • Little Drivers – Introduction to the basics of golf Chip, Pitch, Putting and Full Swing;
  • Player – Teaches core values: Honesty, Respect, Responsibility which instill healthy habits such as Energy, Mind, Friends, Community;
  • Par – Personal Par in life, meet and greet;
  • Birdie – Goal setting (short term and long term);
  • Eagle – The goal ladder going rung to rung and diving deeper into how we set goals;
  • Ace–assist with a Player class and develop skills needed to be successful in life.

The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor has assisted The First Tee program in several ways, including funding for equipment, supporting the introduction of the program into every elementary and middle school in the Peninsula School District (serving over 6000 youth each year), and supporting the increase of youth from Peninsula Schools that joined the Life Skill Education program.


Helping children cope with and prevent acute stress and PTSD, develop life skills, and learn how to work as a team through experiential learning techniques. Offered to children as part of “Returning Humanity to Sanity” and the “Mental Health Transformation Project.”

This pilot program offers 3 key immersions to youth –ages 11-13 years.

Introduction to Mindfulness Based Stress.
Personal leadership and team reflection.
The effects of sympathetic vibration in relation to others through hands-on experiences with horses.


– Peninsula High School Trades Education Program

Bringing students into direct contact with the trades is the purpose of this new and experimental Peninsula High School Trades Education Program~using construction of a tiny house as the means to introduce students to a wide variety of skills and trades:

  • Planning and design
  • Materials selection and procurement
  • Framing
  • Sheetrocking
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Taping and painting
  • Finish carpentry and cabinetry
  • Roofing
  • Components and materials typical of home construction

The program is a unique way to introduce and emphasize the value of career and technical training to high school students. The role of the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor has been to assist the school district with funding to purchase needed materials.


Reentry Employment Training

Reentry into society after incarceration is a big deal for prison inmates—especially women inmates. The challenges and issues they face are often overwhelming—leading many back to prison within a few years. With nearly 1,000 inmates, the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) is the primary state prison for women in Washington State and houses women from every county. Some 40-45 inmates are released every month.

The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor partners with the Department Of Corrections (DOC) to offer a hard-hitting, 6-week, comprehensive Reentry Employment Training Program to women incarcerated at the WCCW in Gig Harbor. Team taught by Rotarians and inmates, nearly 700 women have graduated from the reentry course since its inception in 2013.

Continuing education is one of the significant deterrents impacting the recidivism of released prison inmates. Simply stated: Inmates who continue their education, either during or following incarceration, do not reoffend. In 2014, the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor created the Women’s Prison Scholarship Fund for women released from the WCCW.

Continuing education scholarships are also available for incarcerated women to pursue correspondence or other training while in prison and those released to return to school, college, or trade/professional school. Numerous scholarships have been awarded to women attending various institutions: UW, WSU, TCC, & numerous community colleges, Evergreen College, Gene Juarez Beauty School, and other colleges and universities.


Transportation following release from prison is a major issue for many women after leaving the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) in Gig Harbor.

For many, the release means walking out with a small cash stipend from the WCCW, a bus ticket, and 1-2 changes of used clothing.

Transportation to find a job and housing, buy groceries, meet regularly with her community corrections officer (parole officer), attend school, pick up and drop off her kids, etc., has become a significant issue for many.

Obtaining a driver’s license can be very difficult for many released women. Some face charges related to driving with a suspended license. While these women are doing their time and ‘paying their debt to society, their debt to the DMV is growing. Cars 4 Change is helping all women released from prison to land on their feet and obtain transportation that helps move them along a path of recovery, as well as assisting with payment of fines and license fees and up to 6 months of insurance coverage.

Once a driver’s license is secured, Cars 4 Change finds a suitable vehicle through many connections with auto dealers and car brokers.