Student Leadership Team #President

Hey North! Hope you’re staying warm in this chiiiiiilly weather! This week I would like to introduce you to the one, the only… SARAH!

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sarah is the STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT and serves to be the student voice for the college. She joined Student Leadership so she could be part of the solution for the problems she saw on campus (instead of just complaining). One of her greatest accomplishments was conducting a fancy research project where she successfully inserted the human insulin gene into a fast-growing mushroom and got it to express! Sarah is also obsessed with tacos and her favorite animal THIS week is the highland cow. Her favorite spot on campus is an exposed pipe on the North side which she did a photo project on last year. One unique thing about Sarah is that she’s diabetic and wears an insulin pump. “Some people wear their hearts on their sleeves, I wear my pancreas in my pocket.” When she graduates from NSC, Sarah hopes to transfer into the neurobiology program at the UW and adopt a highland cow!

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to this school! Come by the Student Leadership office across from The Grove (CC1446) to say Hello.



NSC Clubs Interview with Megan Davies

Here at North Seattle College, there are many ways to get involved with the campus community. For example, any student can join a club or start their own. I have heard several students express their great club ideas, but they are not sure how to get clubs started. The process for creating a club is much simpler than most students think. On August 6th, I sat down with Megan Davies, the 2018-2019 Club Council coordinator, to clarify this process and reveal the positive outcomes of participating in club activities.

Afsara: How many clubs are there currently?

Megan: There are no clubs during the summer, but the last academic year ended with about 38 clubs. 

Afsara: Where can students find information for club meeting times? 

Megan: On the Student Leadership website, there is a page for clubs, which has a table including information for club names, club emails, club leaders, meeting times, and locations. Physically, there is also the student clubs board in the Student Leadership office with club meeting times listed. At any point, you can also ask one of the Club Council members in the office for a roster of student clubs. 

Afsara: What is the process for joining an existing club?

Megan: If you want to be a club member, all you have to do is show up to a meeting. Certain clubs keep track of their members with a sign in sheet for every single meeting, but some are more relaxed. For example, the Gaming Club has a lot more drop in students who come in for one or two meetings, depending on the games they’re playing. Since all clubs are open to any student at North Seattle College, you can just walk in to any club. 

Afsara: What is the process for starting a new club?

Megan: We now have dual online and in person forms. The club activation form is on the Student Leadership website and in the Student Leadership office. It is one sheet, front and back, and asks for things such as the club’s purpose and goals. It also asks for basic information such as your name, the advisor’s name, your email, and what you want the club’s public email to be. Some people choose to make their personal email public, but others create a public email. Another requirement is getting 10 signatures from students in support of the club. A lot of people think that the 10 signatures have to be by people that want to join the club, but they actually just need to be people who are in support of forming the club on campus. For example, if you’re signing in support of an “I Hate Plants” club, you don’t have to hate plants! You can just be curious about where they’re coming from. 

Afsara: What is an example of a past club event that was successful?

Megan: The Robotics club has had a lot of really cool, successful events. They have had Skype interviews with NASA engineers and the people in the control room for rocket takeoffs. They have done rocket workshops where they have gotten people their level one certifications. I also know that movie nights are always a hit. LGBTQ+ had a successful movie night showing Love, Simon and the Chemistry club has also had a good movie night turnout. 

Afsara: What in particular about those events do you think made them so successful? 

Megan: For movies, I think that it’s really easy for people to come to a movie night because you don’t have to put yourself out there as much. It’s not like you have to introduce yourself and talk to all of the members. You’re just sitting with a group of people who also want to enjoy the movie, so it’s a really easy way to get out there without too much social interaction. Since the rocketry program here is so good, I think that if people are even just a little bit interested, they are are more inclined to go to it because of their past success. They also have own little private shop area. 

Afsara: Those events seem like a great way to meet more people. 

Megan: Yes, exactly. I always recommend them. 

Afsara: Can you recall a time when a specific club made a positive impact on campus? 

Megan: What comes to mind the most is Spring Fair 2018 when the Student Leadership Events Board ran out of their budget. Each club has a budget of $500 per year so we then turned to the clubs and asked, “Do you want to sponsor some things at this event?” The Flat Earth club sponsored the bouncy house, if I recall correctly, and another sponsored the snowcones. I believe LGBTQ+ donated the remainder of their budget as well. Any club that didn’t use their budget sponsored these cool activities and made them possible. 

Afsara: Can you think of any other information about clubs that would be good to know?

Megan: I think that it’s just really hard getting into the world of clubs if you’re not socially inclined. Before joining Student Leadership, I never would have put myself out there to join a club. After working with clubs and seeing how beneficial they are and how much of a community they’ve become with people who started off as strangers, I know how impactful they can be. 

Afsara Sadiya 

2018-2019 Student Cabinet Coordinator

Student Leadership is Now Hiring!

We are currently accepting applications for Student Leadership, North’s student government and a program offering on-campus jobs and professional skill-building. Student leaders work to improve the campus for all students, support the college values of equity and inclusion, and promote student interests.

No experience is necessary, and new students are welcome! We encourage students from all backgrounds to apply.

Student Leadership positions are paid $16/hour and offer opportunities to build skills in the following areas: teamwork, multicultural competency, leadership, professionalism, advocacy, critical thinking, self-awareness, accountability, communication, and other skills for your academic and professional success. The deadline for guaranteed consideration is April 17, 2019 by 5pm. Applicants selected for an interview will be invited to a GROUP INTERVIEW within 10-12 business days.

Positions start on Aug 19, 2019 and end June 15, 2020.
There is a mandatory new employee orientation on Monday, June 17, 2-4pm. Required work days include Aug 19-22, Aug 26-29, and Sep 20; on these days, student leaders work 7 hours a day. During the remainder of the employment term (fall, winter and spring quarters) student leaders work part-time. Positions require weekly meetings (1-4 hours per week) as well as flexible hours (1-10 hours per week).

• Must be an enrolled student at North Seattle College fall, winter, and spring quarters 2019-20.

• Must commit to entire employment term (August 20, 2019 – June 15, 2020).

• Must have and maintain a minimum 3.0 quarterly GPA starting fall 2019.

• Must demonstrate written and oral communication skills, incl. proficiency in speaking and writing English.

• Must demonstrate the desire to be a leader on campus.

• Members of historically disenfranchised groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Preferred qualifications: leadership experience, interest in advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion, writing and public speaking skills, knowledge of campus.

The online application can be completed at

Afsara Sadiya

Student Cabinet Coordinator

NSC Rocketry Club Collaboration with Russia

North Seattle College has friends in unexpected places—like Blagoveshchensk, Russia.

Tracy Furutani, a physics instructor at North and the faculty advisor for the Rocketry Club, has been working on fostering a collaboration between North Seattle College and Amur State University in Blagoveshchenk.

For years, the North Seattle College Rocketry Club has been entering an annual international rocketry competition in New Mexico ( The club members spend the school year researching, designing, and building a rocket that will blast to an altitude of 10,000 feet at the competition in June.

This year, for the first time, the rocket (named ‘Pele’) will carry a payload designed and built by the Payload Club at Amur State University (see their announcement at

Pulling off a technical partnership this complex takes a lot of work and creative thinking. The NSC Rocketry Club has been coordinating with the ASU Payload Club via Skype chat.

In April, Mr. Furutani is traveling to Blagoveshchensk along with the president of NSC, Dr. Brown. They’ll get to meet the students and faculty of the Payload Club and talk about the possibility of future partnerships.

While there, Mr. Furutani will also talk to the Rocketry Club. However, he’ll be on the opposite end of the Skype session! The exact date and time of the Skype chat have not been set yet, but it will happen around April 15. Contact the Rocketry Club if you’d like to attend. All students are welcome. This adventure started last year, when Dr. Brown traveled to Russia in a Fulbright Scholar program that brought American and Russian community college leaders together to discuss how to best serve their students (

Kate Tanski

Student Cabinet Member

Why Community College?

When I first made the choice to attend North Seattle College, I was excited and eager to begin my college experience. It never occurred to me that I would encounter judgement because I was starting off at a community college. While everyone in high school announced their college decisions, I could pick up on subtle looks of disapproval from students going off to universities. I would also occasionally hear the question: “Why would you go to community college?” Many people could not grasp why a straight A student like me would choose this path. Soon enough, my enthusiasm to start this new chapter turned to doubt and uncertainty. Although I had been accepted to every university I applied to, I felt that the lower tuition cost at North was a smarter choice financially, and that smaller class sizes would better suit my learning style. This is why I made the decision to get an AA degree, and then transfer to a university later on to complete my English major.

Most people tend to look down on community college students, compared to those who traditionally attend a university after high school. There are a lot of universal stereotypes about students like us due to the majority of people having a one dimensional perspective and a lack of knowledge on the subject. These stereotypes include that employers favor applicants who attended a university, that community college students are only older students returning after a long period of time, that they are not intelligent enough to be accepted into a university, and that the lack of student life prevents students from being involved in their campus community (Chen 2018).

People tend to assume that employers are less likely to hire an applicant that has attended community college. However, employers are mainly looking to see if one earned a degree and has the required experience for the career they are pursuing. An applicant that has attended a university for all four years is no more qualified than one that has attended for two years, or has a professional certificate.

Although there may be a large number of older students at some community colleges, it is a misconception that this is the only type of student present. Older students who are local may have been the typical student years ago. However, there are currently many young students as well, such as those who are a part of the Running Start program and come from other countries, creating a mix of different identities. For example, North Seattle College had 435 Running Start students and 517 international students enrolled in Fall 2017.

In addition, one’s intelligence or skill level should not be determined solely on their decision to attend a community college, because these students have the same work ethic and desire to succeed as those who attend universities right away. In fact, a few of the successful people who attended community colleges include the founder of Disneyland Walt Disney (Metropolitan Junior College), CEO of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs (De Anza College), and Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks (Chabot Community College). According to the statistics from the UNLV Institutional Analysis and Planning, “community college students tend to earn a higher GPA than students who begin their academic careers at a four-year university” (Chen 2018). This reveals that community college students are perfectly capable of having academic success.

Lastly, even though community colleges do not have the Greek system to join sororities and fraternities, there are other ways in which students can meet new people and gain valuable experiences including volunteering, clubs, and programs such as student leadership. Then, they can still be a member of the Greek system after transferring to a university, if this is personally an important part of the college experience.

There are many advantages of community college that are not acknowledged often. These factors lead students to choose community college over a university because they better suit certain needs and enrich the overall college experience:

  • Lower tuition cost: The most prominent reason for attending community college is the lower expenses. Community colleges have an average cost of $4,000 annually, compared to about $30,000 – $100,000 for public universities. Living at home and paying less for tuition saves a drastic amount of money even when a student transfers to a university for two of the four years, because it reduces the amount of student loans and debt that students face.
  • Flexible schedule: Community colleges offer a lot more online and evening classes than universities, which makes college convenient for working students who have other responsibilities. This allows them to learn more efficiently by fitting their course load into their own busy schedules.
  • Smaller classes: Classes have about 20 – 30 students compared to lecture halls with hundreds of students in universities, which allows each student to receive more attention and assistance from their professors. This also allows the professors to learn about the needs of each student and be more aware of their specific learning styles (Mitchell 2015).
  • Professional certificates: Community colleges offer short-term and professional certificates. This is useful for those who are pursuing a future in fields such as technology and electronics and do not require a four-year degree for their desired career, allowing them to obtain a job sooner.
  • Transfer agreements: For most students, enrolling in a community college means that they are planning to transfer to a university. Almost all community colleges have transfer articulation agreements that guide students in what courses need to be completed for transferring to a specific university. By having universities in mind early on, meeting with advisors, and paying attention to the requirements, the process of transferring is not as difficult as one may think.

The benefits listed above demonstrate the many positives of attending a community college for a duration of one’s higher education experience. Instead of making quick assumptions about community college students and their abilities, people must look more closely at the rewards that come from it. Being a community college student does not make someone less than a traditional student in any way. This simply means that they are taking on a different approach that is more appropriate for their unique goals. By doing the right research and learning about the benefits, one may find that starting at a community college is ultimately a better choice in terms of the atmosphere, financial ease, and heightened attention.

Now that I have almost completed my AA degree, I have no feelings of doubt or regret at all. I am thankful for every educational experience I gained at North, the good and the challenging. These two years have allowed me to learn academic and personal skills that I will take with me to university and beyond, to use for the rest of my life.

Afsara Sadiya

Student Cabinet Coordinator


NEW Equity and Welcome Center: An Interview with D’Andre Fisher

D’Andre Fisher, North’s Associate Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion may be new, but he is known to make sure his voice is heard on campus. Under his guidance, a new Equity and Welcome Center at NSC is in the works to open this year. Fisher said the need for an Equity and Welcome Center has been a priority of his since he began his job in July. I sat down with Fisher in his office to uncover more information about the new welcome center, the planning process, and his hopes for our community.


I find my way through the labyrinth of administrative offices on the second floor of the College Center building, passing right by President Warren Brown himself. D’Andre noted on his first day (and has reiterated with the plans for the new Equity and Welcome Center) that he must be in the President’s line of sight everyday so that his work is known.

As I walk through the opening of the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity space, a yellow object is catches the corner of my eye. Sure enough, I turn to see D’Andre in his yellow hat. Bright yellow is also the background of the EDI signage that welcomes visitors into this space. Fisher is smiling and quickly assures me that he will see me in just a minute. Almost always do I encounter D’Andre on campus with a snazzy outfit and an inviting smile. He welcomes me into his office where I am free to sit anywhere. Tones of blue and grey are casted over the office through the windows that showcase Seattle’s infamous rain.

Acuña : What do you say is the purpose of having a new Equity Center, as opposed to our current one?

Fisher: So this is an Equity and Welcome Center, which would be the difference compared to what’s already established with the [current] equity center. So this one is geared towards really focusing on the welcoming of all, in having a sense of belonging. It’s going to be the focus, meaning that there are no binary restraints to this work, no gender restraints to this work, really being open, for all religions, all people, all backgrounds, all social statuses, and really focusing on how we make sure that every student, faculty, and staff member feels like North Seattle College is a place that they can call home, and have a sense of belonging.

Acuña : I received the plans for the welcoming center (which includes spaces for undocumented students, LGBTQ students, and prayer). Will these be the identities it will serve there and the rooms it will contain?

Fisher: Nothing is set in stone yet. We will take a year of really evaluating what the need is. We do know that the multicultural center will be there. We do know that the Gender Equity center will be in there. And from there we’re working with other groups to really self identify what will be in there. We do want to have some space for faculty members to be able to come and meet with students. We do want to have space for prayer and meditation to happen, so you know, there’s a lot of wants, but what it actually looks like, that’s not on me to determine, it’s on the campus and the community to determine.

Acuña : When did all this planning and envisioning of the space happen?

Fisher: I started thinking about this in July. It was literally one of the first things to think about. The president charged me to really come under his leadership to try to create a space where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Like I said, it’s going to be six months of just flushing down ideas, talking to key faculty members, key staff members, and key students. You know, more talking still needs to happen, so that’s why nothing is set in stone because I want to be very transparent. I don’t want anyone to feel like we’re moving on without hearing about different voices…so speaking with our veterans, student association, and you know, thinking about what we can do there. I just met last week with the new director of disability services about how we can partner and still always be partnering with international studies. I’m very excited about Ann taking on the new role, but I was really close in partnering with the former director Kathy Lee, so I wanna make sure we still have those components. And then of course, I meet with Student Leadership almost every other week I feel like! And I’m down there almost every other day! So I’m making sure that the student voice is heard.

Acuña : Would you say that working with everyone and listening to what this school has to offer is the best part about this process?

Fisher: Ab-so-lutely. Aw, you’re right! You hit it right on the head! It definitely is.

Acuña : Besides the planning, what are your hopes for this Equity and Welcome Center?

Fisher: My hopes are that within the matter of a year, the Equity and Welcome Center becomes a true hub for the college campus and the surrounding community, where there are multiple identities, multiple races, multiple religions, and multiple people from different backgrounds. And able bodies, everybody just hanging out, and really learning from each other. You know, this is a space where we can all learn from each other and ask questions…and be open to those questions! And you know, talk politics, but in a respectful manner, so if we can do it, man that would be amazing! I would really love to see that. And I know we have it here at North! So, I’m excited. And, working with the Art department in the Equity Center and seeing beautiful art done by our students. I’m getting excited now! It’s so tempting, you got me envisioning!

Acuña: What do you say to people that aren’t in support of the new Equity Center?

Fisher: To give us a chance. To give it a chance. We may not do everything according to the way that they see it should be done, and we may not do everything right the first time. But show us grace in this work because we all need grace in this equity, diversity, and inclusion work. And that’s going to be important. We all come at it at different levels. And we’re all not at the same level, so just as we need grace, and we’re showing grace, we want everyone to be the same way.

North Seattle College’s new Equity and Welcome Center plans to open on March 1.

Heidi Grace Acuña

Student Cabinet Member

Introducing a New Course: SLN 101

If you’re looking for an interesting new class that encourages participation in your local community, register for SLN 101. This class, Service Learning and Leadership 101, will give you the opportunity to create and implement your own community service project. Throughout the quarter, you are given the chance to report back to a group of students who are also conducting their own service projects. This class is primarily an off-campus class with in-person meetings once a week. It will be held either in the Spring or Summer of 2019. Consider enrolling!

Simone Sawyer

Student Cabinet Member

Interview with D’Andre Fisher

PTK Honor Society is happy to welcome D’Andre Fisher, our new Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to North and caught an interview with him to find out more about his work on campus.

What life event was a catalyst in your decision to become an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion?

That’s a great question, I don’t know if it was specifically a life event but just my pure existence. As a self-identified African-American male in today’s society, I think you have no choice but to be in this work or do this work because you have to speak for so many voices that are unheard. Unfortunately, I don’t get the chance to take off being a male, or take off being black, or take off being someone who identifies with religious freedoms, or take off being someone who identifies with the LGBTQ + community. I don’t get to remove that on an everyday basis; I have to wear that every day. So this work for me is my life. It’s just my everyday, it’s just my pure existence in a room, me walking into a space where I can be the only one of that person in that space.

What is one of the most fulfilling aspects of your work?

Knowing that I’ve helped a student, a faculty, or a staff member who felt like they didn’t have a voice. Knowing that I’ve helped them really navigate through an experience, that they felt maybe unappreciated, they felt maybe harmed, or they felt like they did not have a voice or a seat at the table. That’s the most rewarding aspect, just seeing the liberation of so many communities.

Can you share with us a single action we could do in our day to make our community a safer and more respectful place?

I think so many times in Higher Ed institutions, we tend to forget that they’re educational spaces. We need to start educating ourselves on different communities, on different populations, because the notion of getting away with saying or doing things, with microaggressions, and it being “Oh, I didn’t know” – that’s unacceptable now. And it has been unacceptable and it’s unacceptable even more so now because we should educate ourselves on what it means to help and be an ally for a veteran. What it means to help and be an ally for a student with a disability. What does that look like? And you should educate yourself and not expect the population or the community to educate you.

How do you facilitate and promote discussions where everyone’s voice is heard respectfully?

The first step is to create a sense of belonging for everyone, to create a sense of “this space being really safe,” and most importantly to create a space where dialogue – respectful dialogue is the key – could happen. And how you do that is understanding and sit out in the front to say: “We will have different views, we will have different opinions, and that’s ok.” But how do we respectfully come to some type of halfway, medium, or some type of middle ground, where I can walk away and say “I heard you, I may not agree with you, but I heard you”?

Gender and identity have been strongly tied together for a long time, do you think we might be on our way towards a future where the two are completely separated, or do you think it’s impossible to have one without the other?

Social identity, whether that’s in gender, whether that’s in class, whether that’s mental health (we don’t talk about our mental health) – all of these are identities that people have to walk with every day. Like I said in the beginning, “I can’t take off one identity without being the other.” One identity may show itself as prevalent more in our lives, but we are who we are, we identify by how we identify. Whether that’s an identification that we have grown into, whether that’s an identification that we were born with, whatever that may be, or whether that’s an identity that we’ve educated ourselves more on – I think it is very, very important that we acknowledge that everybody has different identities. For us to try and put one identity against the other can be problematic in many ways.

Are there any exciting upcoming events or opportunities where students can learn more about equity, diversity, and inclusion that you can share with us?

We have the food bank that happens every Wednesday. We have multiple events that I hope that our office – the EDI office – is going to start promoting and letting the campus know about more and more on how to get involved and how to make sure that their voices are heard on campus. And for sure, once a month we will have an open dialogue discussing critical topics around diversity and inclusion, so be on the lookout for that. We’re excited!

Contact Information

Chapter Advisor Michaelann Allen:

Chapter President Veronica Carpenter:

Chapter Vice President of Leadership

Scarlett Nguyen:

Contact us if you have any questions via Canvas, via Facebook or talk to us at chapter meetings!

Meeting times

This quarter, we hold weekly meetings in the Baxter Event Center (CC1349A) every Tuesday from 2:30 – 3:30 PM.

Come by to join us if you have any questions on writing successful scholarship applications or volunteer opportunities to make our community a better place!

Healthcare Technology Management Changes Curriculum

The Healthcare Technology Management Program is a 2-year curriculum that trains students to repair the equipment in hospitals such as MRI and X-Ray machines, as well as bedside equipment for patients. This year, the college is making changes from previous curriculum. The new curriculum now has 1 less credit. In addition to that, the course AMA117 (Introduction to Medical Vocabulary) increased its credit number from 3 credits to 5 credits. The course AMA 119 (Survey of Human Anatomy and Physiology) is being dropped out of system, and Fall’18 is last time it is running. It is being transported over to HTM Curriculum. Also, there is a reduction of 15 credits for the curriculum. 2 classes were removed from the curriculum: EET 137 (Introduction to Robotics) & EET 138 (Robotic Applications). 1 class was also added: BUS 118. This is because the HTM curriculum has changed. The program revision was approved by CAS in January 2019, and the appropriate paperwork was forwarded to the Vice President for Instruction’s office.

Kristy Go,

Student Cabinet Member

Meet Your New Student Body President!

Two weeks ago, I marked my one year anniversary of living in the United States. With the exception of a slight hiccup where I changed my name and gender and moved across the country, I spent my whole life pretty much doing what I was supposed to. I was always nice to my little sister. I got As in high school. I finished college in four years, graduated with a degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and was awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Argentina. I’d been tutoring peers and younger students since high school, but the jump to classroom teaching felt like a big one.

And it went fine! I worked with good-natured adult students who were taking night classes to work in tourism, or to become English teachers themselves. They gave me advice on where to get the cheapest bootleg photocopies of our textbooks. They brought electric kettles to class on wintry nights when the lack of windowpanes had us all shivering, and they liked me enough to give me an advance heads-up when virtually the entire class was planning to skip school to avoid an in-class discussion.

As my yearlong grant came to a close, I looked ahead to the next step. A private school in Eastern Turkey was willing to hire me and even pay my airfare. I, a coveted native speaker, would teach “fun” English to eight, nine and ten year olds. I accepted, and kept accepting. Over the course of the next three years, my teaching career would span Turkey, Mexico, and Mongolia. Everywhere I went, I met amazing people. They helped me to register phones, take buses, and open bank accounts, taught me to play instruments and milk goats and cook, called me grandson and nephew and friend.

I had a good, stable job, and loved ones all over the world. But by the end of my fifth year abroad, I just wanted to do something else. As the long Mongolian winter set in, lesson planning became the most exhausting chore imaginable. I loved my students, but I could barely drag myself to class. On top of it all, I was having trouble getting a Mongolian visa, and the possibility of deportation weighed constantly on my mind. And then suddenly winter was over. I had made it through the year, and the first thing I thought was, “I don’t want to live out of a suitcase anymore.”

And so, one year and fourteen days ago, I came home. I was sitting around waiting to hear back about jobs I’d applied for, when I happened to think, “You know, I’d really like to take a printmaking class.” …which is how I found my way to North. It’s funny. I’ve loved art my whole life. My sixth grade math teacher once threatened to take points off my homework if I didn’t stop filling every millimeter of margin space with doodles. But until recently, I never considered the possibility of pursuing art in any serious way. I had plenty of excuses: “I don’t want to take the fun out of it”; “My stuff isn’t very polished”; “Art isn’t practical.” Taking an art class felt more daunting than deciding to hop on a plane and move someplace I’d never seen.

But somehow one printmaking class became a quarter of printmaking, drawing, digital art, and sculpture. And by the third week of school, I was introducing myself as an art major. All those years working abroad, I’d convinced myself that I moved every ten months because I wanted to keep exploring. But I was also running away. It was easier to reinvent myself year after year than have to actually decide who I wanted to be. Above all, I was paralyzed by one big question: what would happen if I tried for the one thing I deeply loved, and it ended in catastrophic failure?

One year and fourteen days later, the best answer I’ve come up with is: you’d find another way. Now that sounds obvious, but “setbacks happen, and sometimes there’s no way around them” is not the sort of conclusion I could have reached on my own, floundering through something terrifying in isolation. But because I spent the past year at North Seattle College, because I’ve finally been brave enough to put down roots, I have friends and mentors who have stood by me. Their support has fortified me against the inevitability of failure. The future is never certain, and I know I’m not the only person in this room doing something that scares me, but I also know my connection to the NSC community will last long after my graduation.

Looking around, I see resilience. I see people who have persevered, who—in spite of illness, racism, doubt, discrimination, economic pressure, pain, or fatigue—have given so much of themselves to make North what it is. It is an immense privilege to be a part of this community. Thank you so much for everything you have done, and everything you continue to do, and I wish you all the very best for the coming year.

Elijah Garrard,

Student Body President