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Skagit Valley College student honored by the Washington Association of College Trustees, receives 2019 Transforming Lives award

Skagit Valley College is proud to announce that SVC student, Rachelle Himmelman, of Mount Vernon, was honored on January 21st by the Washington Association of College Trustees (ACT) and received the 2019 Transforming Lives award. Rachelle is one of only five community and technical college students in Washington to receive the award this year.

     The annual Transforming Lives award recognizes students whose lives have been transformed by attending one of Washington’s 34 community or technical colleges. Each college’s board of trustees select a nominee from its current and former student body. From the 34 nominees, ACT selected Rachelle and four others as keynote speakers at this year’s award ceremony. Each of the five winners also received a $500 scholarship from the association.

     “We are very pleased and proud that Rachelle received the Transforming Lives award from the Washington Association of College Trustees,” said SVC President Dr. Tom Keegan. “As she pursues her own educational goals, Rachelle is also inspiring a new community of learners. She exemplifies the many ways that higher education transforms lives.”

     Overcoming many obstacles and fears, Rachelle Himmelman first enrolled at Skagit Valley College to complete her high school diploma, which she achieved in June 2017. That accomplishment gave her the courage to further pursue her educational goals. She is now in her second year in SVC’s Human Services program. Rachelle is a straight “A” student, a scholarship recipient, and is very proud of her accomplishments. In addition, she believes she is a role model, not only for her children, but for other students who begin college with fears and self-doubt.                             

     Rachelle Himmelman is enthusiastic about the care and support she has received from SVC faculty and staff, and now sees her future as extremely bright. In her practicum work at Skagit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services, she draws upon her past challenges to support others on their road to a better life.

     The future is filled with new hope for Rachelle Himmelman and her family. “If I have one piece of advice to offer, it would be that it is never too late to change your trajectory,” she said. “I thought I was too old and could not change, but my life has been truly transformed by the opportunities given me and the doors that continue to open for me.”

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