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Transforming Lives Awards

The Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) created the Transforming Lives Awards program in 2012 to recognize current or former students whose lives have been transformed by pursuing higher education at a community or technical college.


Each year, the ACT Awards Committee chooses five awardees from a pool of nominations from the state’s community and technical colleges. The awardees receive $500 from ACT and share their stories during the Transforming Lives Awards dinner held during the ACT winter conference in January. In addition to the awardees, all student nominees are recognized during the ceremony and are invited to the dinner.

Stories of Brighter Futures

While just five students are selected to receive awards, every year ACT committee members find compelling stories of determination and success throughout Washington’s community and technical college system.  

All of their stories are shared in their own words in the Transforming Lives Awards 2017 program booklet.

The program booklets and made available at the Transforming Lives dinner, held during the January ACT conference. The books are shared throughout the year with state and federal legislators and higher education stakeholders to showcase how education helps overcome barriers and change lives.

ACT offers its thanks and gratitude to the many community and technical college stakeholders whose vision and dedication have helped make these stories possible.

2017 Transforming Lives Awardees

  • Mohamed Abdullahi, Renton Technical College
  • Marady Duong, South Seattle College
  • Aaron Miller, Spokane Community College
  • Ben Feldbush, Tacoma Community College
  • Monique Bourgeau, Wenatchee Valley College

Mohamed "Mo" Abdullahi, 2017 Transforming Lives Award recipient and Renton Technical College student, was honored as one of the top 20 community or technical college students in the U.S. for academic achievement.

More than 1,800 students were nominated nationwide for the All-USA Community College Academic Team and only 20 chosen.

Read Mo's inspirational story in The Seattle Times.

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Last Modified: 10/9/17 11:36 AM