Leadership comes at many levels. Fortunately for the record number of students graduating from Clover Park Technical College on Friday at the Tacoma Dome, many will take in some timely advice from one of their own and Congressman Jay Inslee and All Washington Scholar Benjamin Wells.
Although both Wells and Inslee come from very different backgrounds, both are success-driven, environmentally-conscious leaders.
When Benjamin Wells first began college it was a rough road. The now straight ‘A’ Environmental Sciences & Technology Graduate began at the University of Kentucky right out of high school but realized the timing wasn’t right and went to work.
After working on a ranch in Wyoming, building boat docks in Florida, and working at a ski resort in Colorado, Wells moved to Tacoma with his fiancée where he worked at Chambers Bay Golf Course for a year before deciding to come to Clover Park. In his time at the College, he has been on the President’s List every quarter and is graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
Ben is a member of the 2011 All-Washington Academic Team and is a winner of the 2011 Washington Award for Vocation Excellence (WAVE). Ben will start at the University of Washington Tacoma in September where he will pursue a degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Urban Planning specific to water treatment/delivery. Wells is also a finalist for a 2-year tuition waiver at UWT.
“Ben Wells is a natural leader who demonstrates his leadership with a calm demeanor,” said Kathryn Smith, Environmental Science Instructor. Wells is a member of the EcoClub at Clover Park. He also devotes his time and energy to a variety of habitat restoration projects in the Puget Sound area including performing salmon counts and invasive species eradication.
Congressman Inslee, whose background and career is well known, will address the crowd of more than 400 graduates who chose to walk during the ceremony. Clover Park has a record high 1,900+ students graduating in June.
The College invited Congressman Inslee to speak a few months ago in part because of his vision for a clean energy future.
Clover Park has a strong commitment to our environment. Last year, Clover Park became the first technical college and the first college from Washington State to win the MetLife Community College Excellence Award. MetLife recognized the Brownfields partnership for its outcomes in placing nearly 80 percent of graduates into jobs.
The Brownfields program provides no-cost environmental training to low-income residents, representing a successful, longstanding partnership between the College, the City of Tacoma, Workforce Central and the Metropolitan Development Council. Last year, the Brownfields Job Training program was also nominated for the Community College Futures Assembly’s Bellwether Award. The award recognizes programs that are on the forefront of innovation.
Facts about the 2011 Commencement:
A record 1,951 students are graduating in June. More than 400 will walk
Congressman Jay Inslee, Representing Washington’s 1st Congressional District will address the graduates
Benjamin Wells is the student speaker
The ceremony begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, June 17 at the Tacoma Dome
No ticket is needed to attend