Ready to learn and use my voice
Hi everyone, I’m Josaphine Saccio-Devine and I am one of this legislative session’s interns. I am so excited to begin this journey with all the amazing people at the State Board! I’m a high school senior getting my AA through the Running Start program at Lower Columbia College. I am also the Student Activities Director for The Associated Students of LCC, which has allowed me to work on effective communication in bridging the gap between students and staff.
After completing my associate degree I plan to pursue a Bachelor of Science in environmental sciences so I can begin working against environmental injustice. I’m passionate about sustainability, equity, and justice in education and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with everyone at SBCTC. I am working alongside Mollie Kuwahara, who is a returning college student and is in the middle of her second year at Tacoma Community College.
My first few weeks as a legislative intern have been so amazing and packed with a myriad of new things to learn. Mollie and I toured the Legislative Building; it is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever had the pleasure of seeing and exploring. I have also attended the State Board legislative strategy meetings where I got to meet many of the incredible people working to improve our two-year college system. Yokiko Hayashi-Saguil, a student services policy associate, has been an absolute godsend my first week. She answered all my questions and shared things that I never would have thought to ask.
Last week the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee held a hearing on SB 5904, which would extend the terms of eligibility for financial programs to 150% of the length of an educational program or six years. This bill would align our state financial aid programs more closely with federal financial aid programs by extending eligibility for community and technical college students across all programs and provide them with more time to complete their studies. Mollie gave virtual testimony on this bill last Friday morning, where she outlined just how this bill would impact community and technical college students and give them the ability to finish their education as students returning to college later in life.
I am ready for the rest of this session to learn as much as possible about the legislative process. I’m excited to get better at reading and fully grasping complex bills and getting a better understanding of the ways which the State Board advocates for community and technical colleges. I am eager to provide student input wherever possible and to use my voice this legislative session.