Six students honored at Transforming Lives dinner
MOSES LAKE — Six college students who overcame barriers and transformed their lives through education were honored last night during the Big Bend Community College Transforming Lives Award recognition dinner.
The BBCC Board of Trustees hosts the annual dinner to recognize students who have pushed past tremendous obstacles in their pursuit of higher education. The Trustees also provide them with a $100 check.
Each year, the Trustees also nominate one of the students to the state Transforming Lives Awards held in Olympia, WA.
This year’s honorees were Damon Barber, Fatima Borjas, Angela Moore, Liz Murillo, Audra Pierce and Colton Reynolds. They shared their stories with those in attendance, each of them touching on the challenges they faced while pursuing their degrees and how they were able to overcome them.
Current student Angela Moore said the support and encouragement she received from her instructors, as well as the TRIO Student Support Services and Workforce Education Services teams, played a big role in helping her stay motivated.
“It’s tough going to school. There’s always something that comes up but there are so many resources and people here that want to help and see you succeed,” she said. “The confidence that I’ve gotten from being a student at Big Bend and all the support that is here for students, it’s changed my life for the better.”
Angela graduated from the Business Information Management program and is currently on track to earn her Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management through Big Bend next spring.
Attendees also heard from Big Bend Outreach Coordinator Angel Dominguez, who commended each nominee for not giving up on achieving their educational goals. He shared his own journey of transforming his life through education, from not finishing high school to eventually returning as an adult to earn his high school diploma through Big Bend and then his degree in secondary education from the University of Idaho.
“Education is a hard journey,” he said. “I always thought successful people were programmed that way. I struggled with school and learning English and so in my mind education wasn’t for me, I just wasn’t programmed to be successful.”
He shared how things turned around for him when he started to believe in himself.
“That’s the key, you have to believe in yourself and have faith,” said Dominguez. “There were many times I wanted to quit. Being scared is what got me through college, you just have to keep going and there are always people to help you.”