For Immediate Release
November 9, 2015

LCC names 2016 Transforming Lives Award Winner

Shawney Garbe didn't picture herself as a college student, but catastrophic life events led her to make the unexpected choice of returning to school.

Before her husband died unexpectedly several years ago, Shawney was a busy mom of seven children who still found time to volunteer. Her world changed in the moment she lost her husband, and she ultimately decided to go to college before her mother's benefits ran out.

Not long after she returned to school to pursue her credentials in Early Childhood Education, Shawney faced a traumatic cancer diagnosis of her own. She's now back at LCC after a break to focus on her health, overcoming obstacles and stereotypes as she interacts with tech-savvy Running Start students and recent high school graduates. Although her home life does not involve a television or Internet, Shawney was introduced to blogging through LCC English instructor Amber Lemiere.

“I had heard of a blog, but had never actually seen one before the class,” said Shawney.

Shawney is not a fan of the spotlight and is still unsure about being selected for this recognition, but it was her commitment to helping others that led her instructors (Amber Lemiere, Betty Hayes, Sue Akin-Fields and Ann Williamson) to nominate her for the award. Ann writes,

“With the will of a great fighter, she has come back. Surgeries, setbacks, physical therapy, all handled with the most gracious spirit I have ever seen and all the while keeping up excellent grades. Shawney perseveres. She is determined to care for her family, reach her educational goals, and impact others through advocacy and mentoring. She will continue to inspire those who have the privilege of interacting with her.” — Ann Williamson

The 2016 Transforming Lives Award is sponsored by the Washington State Association of College Trustees. Each college in the Washington State Community and Technical College System selects an annual award winner. The 2016 winners will be recognized at a January awards ceremony in Olympia.

Shawney Garbe

Shawney Garbe
2016 Transforming Lives Award Winner.


News and Media Contact:

 Wendy Hall, Vice President, Effectiveness & College Relations, Lower Columbia College


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