Tienaya Sigmund-Godes: Inspirational Northeast Mom Receives Unsung Hero Award

Tienaya Godes

There are few people who embody the strength, compassion, and drive of Tienaya Sigmund-Godes. She is a champion of Northeast Community residents with an incredible list of accomplishments in advocacy, leadership, and community-building, in addition to the time she spends raising her six children.

Tienaya’s optimism, resilience, and hard work have not gone unnoticed. She was just awarded the statewide Unsung Hero Award through Strengthening Families Washington and the Department of Children, Youth and Families. Read more about her award in Seattle’s Child magazine here.

Tienaya stands out by constantly seeking new opportunities to grow personally and as a leader, taking advantage of all that The ZONE and Gonzaga University’s Opportunity Northeast and Center for Community Engagement have to offer.

A passionate advocate for children and families not only in Northeast Spokane but on the National Level, Tienaya has influenced policy making as a Board Member with the Regional and National Head Start Association. She is a member of Moms Rising and a parent ambassador alumna for the Washington State Association of Head Start, Early Head Start and ECEAP. She is the Outreach Lead for Save the Children’s Action Network (SCAN) Community Action Team (CAT) where she was awarded Champion for Children in 2019.

In addition to Tienaya’s professional accomplishments, she has an unwavering ability to see and care for others giving time to her community by, for example, driving women in need of clothing to Our Sister’s Closet, encouraging classmates to succeed, and making gifts to give just to brighten someone’s day.

Tienaya chose Gonzaga University for her paid internship (a part of the Essential Skills program) because she is passionate about Emotional Intelligence and Women’s Leadership. She would love to work at Gonzaga one day!

Tienaya’s rising star shines bright and she is truly an inspiration to all of us in Northeast Spokane and beyond.


Examples of Tienaya’s growth and impact in Northeast Spokane:

  • Earned a Certificate in Women’s Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University
  • Participated in a weekly virtual ZONE peer group, which met to support each other and learn about how to reduce stress in themselves and with their children during the pandemic
  • Northeast Neighborhood focus group participant, identifying challenges to meeting family goals and ways community can support through non-traditional childcare, career and skills navigation, financial education, and resources for food and housing stability
  • Attended Gonzaga University’s Community-Based Leadership training at The ZONE
  • Co-developed the priorities of our collective impact initiative through a series of structured resident partner meetings
  • Member of the Northeast Resident Taskforce which designed the ZONE resident governance model
  • Circle of Security parenting series graduate which teaches parents to increase their children’s emotional resiliency
  • Built a personalized website through our Women’s Web Design module in partnership with Computing for All.
  • The ZONE’s Essential Skills program graduate. Six weeks of daily classes enhancing career awareness, professional communication skills, financial literacy, and technology skills. KXLY recently featured how Essential Skills can help NE women achieve their professional and personal goals.