Our chapter began in 1997.

The core group for Bright Future Dollars for Scholars in September 1997 comprised people from Ravenna Boulevard Presbyterian Church who had already been giving layettes to teen mothers who attended nearby John Marshall High School. Reverend Alan Beasley invited Rick Millerick, the regional representative for Dollars for Scholars to attend a meeting to explain how local people could form a chapter of Dollars for Scholars that could focus on specific local needs and interests.

After this meeting, about eight people formed a steering committee. The women's group at the church donated the $200 fee to start the Dollars for Scholars chapter. A positive response to the initial fundraising meant that the group could award a few scholarships of about $1000 to $1500. However, none of the students used the funds, which were to be used for post-secondary education.

Upon reflection, the members of the chapter realized that these students' circumstances were such that they had no idea how to use the money for education past high school. Clearly, these students needed mentoring but the chapter members did not have the depth of knowledge to provide that element.

At this time, President Doug Gochanour met Reza Khastou, who had been developing a case-managed program that focused on vocational education for students who could be capable students with the right kind of help. So often, in Mr. Khastou's experience, this assistance needed to be financial.

Reza attended a Board meeting to explain the program; the Board was very interested and the new John Marshall Dollars for Scholars chapter was born.

The program (that Reza named Bright Future) served students from multiple high schools in the Seattle area who, after admittance, attended classes at the Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI). The students must had at least junior standing and qualified for the Washington State Running Start program. These students worked for high school graduation and work-force certification in a number of programs, including Dental Assistant, Cosmetology, Administrative Professional, and Medical Assistant. Many of these programs included a paid externship and help in finding a job.

In 2008, when John Marshall Alternative High School closed, the board decided to expand the scholarship offering to all the high school students that the Bright Future program served and at the same time changed its name to Bright Future Dollars for Scholars. The success of this partnership continued: students graduated from their high school schools and earned industry certificates at a much higher rate than the rates shown at regular high schools and colleges.

In 2018 when Seattle Central and Seattle Colleges decided to close the Seattle Vocational Institute, the board of Bright Future Dollars for Scholars decided to expand the program so that, in addition to high school students, previous Bright Future students and qualified adults could apply and receive scholarships.