Inspiring college students highlighted

The Washington State Association of College Trustees on Jan. 22 honored 34 community and technical college students as 2018 Transforming Lives award winners. The annual award recognizes current students and alumni who overcame barriers to achieve their academic goals. From the winners, five students were selected to be keynote speakers and to receive $500 each, including Theresa, a Nigerian-born Edmonds Community College student whose last name was withheld. She sought asylum in the United States in 2014 to flee abuse. She plans to enroll in the college’s pre-nursing program next fall.

Also among the honorees:

Hajer Al-Faham, a former Iraqi refugee who graduated from Everett Community College with honors and went on to graduate from Seattle University. She is now working on a doctoral degree in political science at the University of Pennsylvania and was named a 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.

LaShanata Sealy, a former high school dropout and former addict who took adult basic education classes and earned her GED from Cascadia College. She now heads to the University of Washington Bothell to study health.

Each award winner was nominated by the board of trustees at their college.

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