Campus notes

Student of the month turning life’s lemons into lemonade

People often enroll in college with the priority of bettering themselves and their situation, but that wasn’t the first consideration of Washington State Community College’s March Student of the Month, Amanda Buckey. She’s pursuing a degree in Social Services because she’s on a mission to be the advocate she needed when she was a little girl.

Growing up, Buckey experienced more than her fair share of hard times. “I went through a lot in childhood and early adulthood,” she explained. However, she’s claimed victory over her adversities by recognizing how her hardships have influenced her for the better. “It’s shaped me into who I am and it’s made me a strong person,” she said proudly.

Her desire to pursue a degree in Social Services is fueled by the memories of her past. “I know if I had someone who was there and who cared, maybe my life could have been a little easier,” she acknowledged. Her desire is also inspired by the social worker Buckey worked with as a teenager. “Had I not had a social worker, I would have been completely lost, possibly dead. The path I was on was not good,” she confessed.

Last fall she began her academic journey to become the person she needed as a child. Despite her passion, she confesses it hasn’t been easy. The mom of four hadn’t been in a classroom for 20 years and the demands of college, parenthood, two jobs and everyday life in general was initially overwhelming. “I wanted so bad to give up, but I just kept going,” she confessed. “It’s easy to give up, but it takes grit to keep going.”

Her grit drew the attention of one of her instructors, Associate Professor of English Jill Anderson. “Amanda had a really difficult semester with some personal issues, but I saw her pull herself right back up and get back to work. She is so admirable and just an excellent role model for the other students in class,” said Anderson. “I know she is strong and will continue to be successful in her studies and her future.”

Buckey is slated to graduate in 2020 with her Associate of Arts in Social Services Transfer. Following graduation, she plans to continue her education and ultimately earn at least a master’s and possibly a doctorate degree.

St. Mary student moves on in Power of the Pen competition

Henry Porter, an eighth grade student at St. Mary Catholic School, will represent the school at the State Power of the Pen competition in May. Henry has qualified to move on to the state competition through his impressive writings throughout the regional and district competitions. Henry is the son of Chris and Darcie Porter of Marietta.

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