For Immediate Release
March 31, 2014
The courage to tackle new challenges while achieving top grades in their college studies is a trait shared by honorees Holly Lemmons and Russell Kennington.
Annually, the All Washington Academic Team program recognizes and honors two students from each community and technical college for scholastic achievement and community and college service. The LCC team members were recognized at a ceremony in Olympia on March 27 and each received a $500 award from the LCC Foundation and a $250 award from Key Bank.
Both students chose to jump start their college studies by participating in the Running Start program for high school juniors and seniors. The pair is on track to graduate from LCC this June with plans to transfer to universities where they will pursue bachelor's and master’s degrees.
Holly Lemmons began LCC courses while completing her high school diploma at Kelso, then continued as a full-time college student this year in order to earn her transfer degree at a lower tuition cost and in less time. She appreciates the smaller learning environment offered at a community college and the opportunity it provides to connect with people. Her interest in working with people also led her to volunteer work at St. John Medical Center, escorting patients and directing visitors.
Last fall she overcame her fear of public speaking by joining LCC’s competitive debate team, earning both a scholarship and awards for her efforts. In March, Lemmons performance contributed to the fifth place community college finish by the LCC Fighting Smelt Forensics Team at the Pi Rho Phi National Tournament. The experience has greatly improved her communication skills and self-confidence, valuable in achieving her career goals in business management and marketing.
Success at her part-time barista job influenced Lemmons's career choice after her manager complimented her talents and gave her responsibility for additional work areas, such as product displays and holiday inventory. As a Certified Barista Trainer, she was selected to train coworkers older than herself. Although hesitant at first, she enjoyed sharing her knowledge and the opportunity for growth.
Inspired by her mother, who completed a master’s degree several years ago, Lemmons strives to be the best in school, at her job and in activities like debate team. She has compiled a 3.72 GPA for her college studies and is starting the Coffee Master program at work. She plans to transfer to Pacific Lutheran University and has been awarded a $15,000 general scholarship and additional $3,000 business scholarship from the University.
Russell Kennington enrolled at LCC after completing all of the math and science courses at his high school. He has maintained a 4.0 GPA, earning a spot on the President’s List each quarter, and will complete both his high school diploma and Associate in Science Transfer degree in June. He plans to attend the University of Utah.
His goal is to earn a bachelor of science degree and master of science degree in Computer Science in preparation for a career in computer programming. Last summer, he designed, coded, tested and implemented a new website for Castle Rock High School; his first time undertaking such a project. To successfully design both the layout and structure of the site, Kennington worked with school faculty and administrators and with the technology department to learn server limitations. Testing the limits of his knowledge, he had to learn new concepts each time he added a piece of functionality.
Although he was not eligible for a paid position through the college’s tutoring program, Kennington made himself available to help classmates in math, physics and computer science courses. He enjoys "aha" moments for himself and when helping others learn. He has also volunteered with the North Coast Veterans' Stand Down, the annual Castle Rock (city-wide) Clean-Up and the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.
Last year Kennington earned a Superior rating in piano solo competition for his performance of Scriabin's Prelude for Left Hand, Op. 9. He selected the piece because it is beautiful and challenging. Future goals include gaining proficiency at sight reading music and learning to bake croissants.
"I will search for, and find, a career in a satisfying niche of computing," Kennington said. "But throughout my schooling and beyond, I will not forget the things that make me happy and who I am."