This year’s Distinguished Alumni celebration honored four former students for the personal and professional achievements they have made since their time at Pierce College. The nominees provide inspirational examples of the impact Pierce College can have on its students as well as the greater community.
As the first Puyallup tribal member to take the reins of Chief Leschi Schools as superintendent, Amy Eveskcige hopes to draw on her own past struggles to help her students realize their potential. After dropping out of high school in ninth grade, she never imagined that college would ever be the place for her. She was encouraged by her elders to finish her education, which she certainly did. Eveskcige now holds a doctorate from Washington State University. “I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the tremendous support of my family and community,” Eveskcige said during the event. “It’s important to remember that the honor of one is the honor of all.”
As the executive director of the Northwest African American Museum, Rosanna Sharpe credits her time at Pierce College as being integral to her decision to pursue a career in the arts. “I was a first generation college student, but my parents truly raised me to be a lifelong learner,” Sharpe said. “I’m extremely moved and humbled to receive this award here tonight.”
Melody Williams remembers graduating high school on a Friday, and finding herself in a Pierce College classroom by Monday. With the support of her parents, Williams could have attended college just about anywhere, but knew Pierce was the school for her. “I have a great deal of pride in being a Pierce College alum,” she said. “I was raised by parents who instilled in me the importance of volunteering, and I want to do what I can to give back to Pierce College.” Williams has already served two terms on the Pierce College Foundation Board of Directors, for a total of six years.
Yotsaphon Sangnil earned a 3.99 grade point average during his time at Pierce College – in a language that was not his own. The native of Thailand now serves as the head of investment strategy and financial research for the Thailand Stock Exchange. “The most memorable experiences I have from my time in the United States was from Pierce College,” he said.
Sangnil transferred to the prestigious New York University Stern School of Business and was immediately hired on Wall Street after graduating.
He credits much of his success to the assistance he received from the International Education Department. “I wouldn’t be where I am with out Pierce College,” he added.
Next year, as the college celebrates its 50th anniversary, the annual Distinguished Alumni event will be transformed into a gala that will celebrate the accomplishments of the entire Pierce College community. Mark your calendars for April 22, 2017!
Story reprinted, with permission, from Pierce News website.