Pierce College Foundation Scholarship Luncheon May 2016

Pierce College Foundation Scholarship Luncheon May 2016


..to the scholarship luncheon. We’re here
to celebrate scholarship recipients and to honor the donors who make those
scholarships possible and my name is Jeff Brown, I’m the president of Pierce College
Foundation and on behalf of the foundation board we are pleased to-that you could
join us today. I’d first like to introduce to you some of my fellow board members
and I’d like to start with Chong Dameron. Let’s give her a hand. Chong, thank you. [Applause] Carlene Joseph, are you here? There we
are. Thank you, Carlene. [Applause] Pat Lewis, hello Pat. [Applause] Les Watts, there we are Les.
[Applause] Beth Thoms. Beth? Thank you.
[Applause] and Phil Yates. Thank you, Phil. Thank you
all for making your work and making these scholarships possible. We’re joined by the
college presidents and chancellor. We have chancellor Michelle Johnson here.
[Applause] We have Fort Steilacoom president Denise
Yochum [applause] and the Pierce College president Marty Cavaluzzi. Thank you,
Marty. [applause] and I have one more foundation board
member to introduce that I didn’t have on my list but Jonathan Harris are you here?
There he is, thank you for coming. [Applause] So Marty Cavaluzzi will be coming up in
just a few moments to share a few words with us today so come on up, Marty. Let’s
give him a hand, come on. [Applause] That was less than a few moments. Well welcome to Pierce College Puyallup.
Thank you all very much for being here today to honor this year’s scholarship
recipients and the donors who make these scholarships possible. We have with us
faculty and staff who have supported the students who are here today so will you
all please stand so that we can thank you? All the faculty and staff who helped make
this possible. [Applause] Just wanted to thank you because you’re
not only supporting the students in this room, you’ve supported all the students.
So we’re here to celebrate the donors who create possibilities and the scholarship
recipients who have realized those possibilities. We have donors who give
10,000 dollars or more and we have donors who give 10 dollars or 20 dollars a month.
Together it adds up and it makes a huge difference in students’ lives. Would
anyone here who’s ever given us-given to the foundation for scholarships please
stand. Whether you’ve given 10,000 dollars or 10 dollars, we want to just celebrate
the fact that you gave and that your gifts are helping students. Maybe you supported
the golf tournament, which also supports scholarships, so let’s give a big round of
applause to all these donors. [Applause] all of those who give and… Of course we’re also here to celebrate
the scholarship recipients. We are joined by only a fraction of our scholarship
recipients today. Some couldn’t attend due to family obligations, class, work, or
military service but they all send their sincere gratitude to everyone in this
room. I would now like to welcome to the stage foundation board member Pat Lewis
and our first student speaker, Shantika .. [Applause] Good afternoon everyone, my name is Pat
Lewis and I’ve served on the Pierce College Foundation Board for about five
years now. It’s my pleasure to introduce to you Shantika. Today you will hear
about Shantika’s journey to Pierce College. She is a true model of
perseverance. Please help me in welcoming Shantika.
[Applause] Hello. Good afternoon foundation members,
fellow recipients, and guests. My name is Shantika .. and I’m 29 years old. I’ve
been married for almost four years to the love of my life and I found a home here at
Pierce College in the Homeland Security Emergency Management Program. I would
like to stand up here and say I’m one of many in my family to have attended college
or something else like, “my parents have always talked to me about the value of an
education”. That’s not true. I’m the first in my family to attend college other than
my grandmother. I would like to share the truth about my life and how I’ve overcame
everything that should have set me on a different path. When I was 10 years old my
mother was arrested for the first time of many for prescription drug forgery. This
left my grandmother to take care of my five year old sister, my three month old
baby brother, and myself. My grandmother was a night nurse working
overtime to be able to provide for us. This would be the norm throughout my
high school years and even into adulthood. In my younger years of life I faced abuse,
both verbal and physical, dealt with self harm, and became a mother figure at a very
young age. Fast forward to my senior year of high school, my brother and my sister
were both in school. I had to make sure they were up, out the door, and try to
make it to my first period class without being late. I quickly realized I was not
able to take care of my family, which had been torn apart, and be successful in
school, so I decided to drop out. In 2011 I met my husband who would soon
find out that I had not graduated high school. In 2012, after being laid off at
my job, my sole focus was to find another one. My husband told me not to worry
about a job but to go back to school. I was so scared and embarrassed but I knew
he was right. In the fall of 2012 I enrolled in Clover Park Technical College
and began to pursue my high school diploma. I received my diploma after
winter quarter of 2012-13. I began taking all the classes I needed to qualify for
the nursing program. When I saw myself not really caring, my husband and my
grandmother sat down and said, “you need to really figure out what it is you want
to do”. A close friend of mine, who’s more like my adopted mother, Michelle Galaz,
who happens to work at Pierce College, she told me to check out the Homeland
Security Emergency Management program. So I went to the website, I watched the
video, and I fell in love. I enrolled in the program and met frequently with my
adviser Robert Lord. Since starting the program in the summer of 2015 I have
taken off. Summer quarter was my very first one ever at Pierce College. I ended
up making the Dean’s list and I cried because I had never done anything like
that in my life. [Applause] Then I said to my husband, “they don’t
even have a list for the list I should be on” and he said, “oh honey, there’s the
president’s list” and I said “then that’s my list” and sure enough, at the end of
fall quarter, I made the president’s list. [Applause] I became a member of the Phi Theta Kappa
honor society, I’m wearing the pin today, and I’ve been able to attend-and I was
hoping to have been able to attend the North Carolina Phi Theta Kappa Honors
Institute this summer. However, due to financial reasons, I cannot but that is
soon a goal of mine. At the end of this quarter I will have earned my certificate
and at the end of fall I will have my Associate’s in the Homeland Security
Emergency Management Program and I plan on continuing to be the first student in
the new Homeland Security Emergency Management Bachelor’s Program. [Applause] If it had not been for this scholarship
the foundation provided my with, I would’ve been forced to drop a class each
quarter. Thanks to those who give their time and money, I’ve been able to take
on four classes at a time which has allowed me to keep racing towards my
dream. Outside of school I’ve been getting involved in other activities to further my
career goals. I’m currently a volunteer receptionist at the Lacey Fire District 3
and I’m assisting the Fire Chief in putting together the business continuity
plan, and they’re looking for a place for me on their staff. I have several
connections at the Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray and I’ll be
participating in the 6,000 person Cascadia Shake-out this June in Seattle.
Where I’ve come from to where I am now is more than I could’ve imagined for
myself. Whether you know it or not, you are helping each and every one of us
achieve our dreams and I know that as I go forth in my career and achieve the goals
that I have, I will always remember all that you have given me. A chance to take
my life, turn it around, and really maximize my potential. Thank you. [Applause] Hello everybody. My name is Les Watts and
I’m a foundation board member and I am a retired faculty counselor at Pierce
College where I spent 40 years of my life and also a proud to be a U.S. Army
Veteran, I’m a retired army nurse. So and I am proud to introduce a fellow army
veteran and this is Igor .. and he is part of our JBLM campus and sometimes we
forget that we have our JBLM campus and so I’m anxious to hear Igor’s story. Igor? [Applause] Thank you ladies and gentleman it’s been
an honor for me to be here and my name is Igor .. I’m a student at Pierce College
and completing an Associate degree in nursing and planning to transfer to a
four year university. Another option I’ve considered is a military program in
physician’s assistant studies which I submitted an application this semester and
waiting for results to come back in August of this year. I recall my childhood
memories when my mother, she was a certified nurse aid at that time, came
home from work and told our family exciting stories about medical cases that
she observed. From a young age I knew that I wanted to help people. I wanted to make
a difference in people’s lives. That’s why I joined the United States Army and became
a radiologic technologist. My work experience helped inspire me to want to
do more with my professional career so I decided to enter the college. The
college environment is a ground base that helps you to develop attention to details,
critical thinking, and communcation skills. It cultivates a great appreciation
for life and brings a real importance to it. My passion has always been assisting
others and trying to improve their quailty of life. It’s a huge source of pride for
me. It’s a huge source of pride for me to carry on best medical decisions for those
who serve and were injured in combat zone. In the future, I would be proud to pass on
the best patient care experience to the coming generation of students, serving as
a clinical educator in graduate medical studies. Taking college classes while
working full time, especially in the military, is a big challenge… Academic
Achievement Scholarship provides some additional resources for me, for my
family, for my wife who’s a full time dental hygienist student at Pierce College
[applause] and that makes us and our family just one
step closer to achieving our dream. Without scholarship donors like you there
will be many students such as myself unable to pursue their desired career.
Once again I offer my sincerest thanks for your generous support. Thank you. [Applause] Thank you Igor, what a great testimony
that you gave to us and it really gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to be a
student on that campus at JBLM so thank you. I’m excited to introduce to you all
Skyler Jenson-Hampton who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few times at various
events at Pierce College and certainly at my table. You’ll find out soon from
Skyler, when it comes to achieving your goals, the sky is the limit. So let’s
welcome Skyler. [Applause] Okay good afternoon. I wrote some stuff
down but I kinda want to just talk from my heart so I’m just gonna kinda go for it.
Funny story, a year ago today I was actually sitting at our Pierce College
Fort Steilacoom campus for the first time in the sunrise building doing my new
student orientation. Fun fact about me is I’m from Portland, Oregon. I’m 19 years
young and I had no intentions on going to college. I thought I could make is as a
comedian but I don’t really know if I’m gonna be able to do that so soon to find
out I really needed a college degree. February first of 2015 I moved from
Portland, Oregon to Tacoma, Washington to be with my beautiful grandmother who
happens to be sitting right there, Leslie Morning. [Applause] to help her through a tough time. We lost
my grandfather Tom and I was kinda going through an hard time in my life.
Couldn’t find a light at the end of the tunnel so I said, “All right grandma,
we’re gonna go together, we’re a good team, and make this happen”. Soon before I
actually didn’t have my driver’s license when I moved here so grandma got me into
driver’s ed and that was the first bit of school I had been to since I graduated in
June of 2014. Then I started work at REI, that’s Recreational Equipment Inc., and I
thought to myself “dang, I really need to meet some friends” so I decided “well why
don’t I go back to school”. I had no intentions on what I was going to do but I
had a lot of determination. So a year later I never would’ve thought I’d be
standing up here but during my orientation a wonderful man came in to
talk about TRIO and the first thing that I heard that I was like “oh I can relate to
that” is that I am a first generation college student. I got introduced to
Mr. Terry Green and I thought to myself, “should I shake his hand and meet him or
should I just go back home?” I built the courage and met Terry and that man and Don
Reed happen to be the best things that have ever happened to me. And so they
introduced me to everybody at the school. Introduced me to Cameron Cox, the
director of Student Life, and then Sarah Hoaglin who was the supervisor of student
ambassadors. I happen to be a Pierce College Fort Steilacoom student ambassador
I tried out for Miss Pierce Country, that’s a beauty pageant, and I happen to
be fourth runner up and voted to be miss congeniality. Never had walked in heels
and today .. [laughter and applause] So, wonderful program. Anywho what I want
to do is I figured out what I want to do and I want to inspire people. I want to be
a motivational speaker. I’d love to get my degree in communcations and just inspire
and make people realize that the sky is the limit. So that’s where it comes in to
the donors, thank you, this is the first scholarship I have ever won. I never
thought in my entire life that I’d ever win a scholarship. Money was a huge factor
of keeping me from college and now because of the scholarship I go to school
for free and so that’s a really really big thing. For everybody in this room who is
not a scholarship participant, this isn’t really about me or the people who won it,
it’s about the donors and the faculty that happen to be here today. Thank you all
for the people who I haven’t met, for the people that I get to meet, and for the
people that are my family and my support system, for believing in me and making
me really chase my dreams and make my reality-or my dreams become a reality.
I just want to say thank you and the sky is the limit. [Applause] Wow, what amazing stories. Thank you all
for sharing your journeys with us here today. I’m sure that everyone here can
relate to these stories in some way, including our very own chancellor and
Pierce College district CEO doctor Michelle Johnson. Please welcome Michelle
to the podium. [Applause] Well thank you, Marty. It’s a hard act to
follow when you have to follow the recipients of these fabulous scholarships.
But before I say a few words, I do want to introduce a couple more people who’ve
joined us. So we have another member of our foundation, General Will Harrison [Applause] and we’ve also been joined by Steve Smith
and Steve is a trustee on the board here at Pierce College [applause] As you listen to the stories, Shatika and
Igor and Skyler, they come each from different places but they come together
in the same place here pursuing a variety of goals and interests and each of them
have already demonstrated incredible success. So they’ve laid the foundation
and you, our donors, are so important to their journey. We know more and more that
students are sometimes just a few dollars away from success and so the contributions
that you make help their dreams come true. At Pierce we serve about 18,000 students a
year in our three major centers here at Puyallup, Fort Steilacoom, and Joint Base
Lewis-McChord. We have faculty and staff who are here that truly make a difference.
We’re an achieving the dream college and that’s a college that is committed to
closing the achievement gap and having our students really move to completion and in
doing that we have to approach their challenges on all levels. Financial is
just one of those but it’s a really important one. And we know that when we
work together and you hear our students talking about the people in their lives,
those of you in this room whether directly as a faculty member or a staff
member or as a donor, you can walk away here knowing that you are an important
part of what it is that they do. That you are part of the Pierce College family.
I’ve been able to do this, I’m in my 38th year, and during this period of time I’ve
seen Pierce College do some really amazing things. And I too, as a first
generation college student, did not know what college was going to do to change my
life. And so I say to you, I didn’t start 38 years ago at the chancellor. And I had
no idea that I would be standing here talking with you, but it is because of the
people here, and because of you who come to study, that you make us who we are. And
we are so proud and so fortunate to have you with us, to be part of this journey,
because it’s just all of us together that really make up Pierce College. It’s a name
but it’s so much more than that. It’s an institution but it’s really about the
people. And so I want to thank you for being those people. I mean I look out
and I see Grace. 90 something Grace I know you’re not supposed to tell a woman’s
age, but .. 96. 96! [Applause] And Grace was a force, and is still a
force, to be reckoned with. She headed up our early childhood education program.
She created it and it’s a stellar one and it’s one of the latest Bachelor’s degrees,
Bachelor’s of Applied Science, that will start and Krissy Kim is here who’s gonna
lead that and lead on the legacy that Grace has set. And Igor your wife is in
Dental Hygiene, that’s the first dental hygiene, that’s the first bacheloriette
we’re gonna offer a BAS and Sharon Golightly, Sharon’s here, Sharon started
that program [applause] and it also is an amazing program. And Homeland
Security, that’s our third Bachelor’s of Applied Science that we’ll be starting.
And my background is criminal justice so it’s really closely aligned. So our paths
all come together, we have I know folks here representing our veterans and a
really really important part of who we are and what we do here. [Appause] So whether our students are coming to get
skills to go directly to work or they’re coming here to get some skills and
education to transfer to go to the university, and then to go to work,
remember it all really is all about career at some point in our lives, and our
foundation, I want to thank you for being such a great group of volunteers. The
hours and time that you give, and the folks, all of you who are donors,
particularly the donors from outside the college is really important and really the
foundation itself took hold by Jerry Tinker, who really was the beginning of
the Pierce College foundation .. [Applause] So we love that you all come back and
Grace maybe when I’m 96 I’ll come back and someone will recognize me. What’s her name? We knew her
sometime. Anyway, thank you all for being here. It’s just a wonderful place to be
and scholarship recipients, all of you, congratulations. Keep going, just keep
going. Okay? Thank you. [Applause] Thank you, Michelle. Once again I want to
recognize all of the scholarship donors and recipients who are with us today.
Let’s give a last round of applause. [Applause] I say that but then I realize we actually
do have a former foundation president, Glen .. in our audience today and it’s his
passion for our students that continues on and he recently gave a generous gift to
support our veteran students and our veteran’s programs. So thank you, Glen. [Applause] So, as you go about your day, I hope you
all smile as you reflect upon the stories that you’ve been shared, that you’ve all
heard here today and speaking of things to smile about, Pierce College’s 50th
anniversary is coming up and in fact we’re kicking off this very celebratory year
with our annual scholarship scramble on August 11th with many more festivities
throughout the year. So those of you that golf, I hope we see you there. Thank you
all for all that you do to help Pierce College, will the scholarship recipients
please meet the photographer at the far end of this room for a group photo and for
all of the guests here today, we have a gift to send you away with so on your way
out please be sure to get a copy of a hot off the presses Student Literary Arts
Museum-I mean Magazine-SLAM. No museum for you. Thank you and have a wonderful
day. [Applause]

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