For Immediate Release
January 8, 2018
LCC student body president Clinton Howard was born with drugs in his system, and immediately thrust into a world filled with crime and despair.
Addiction ultimately led to his father’s death at age 42. His brother, also an addict, has been behind bars for the majority of his life. In this troubled setting, Clinton grew up believing that his destiny was to be a drop out, addict and criminal—just like others in his family.
For a time, Clinton’s life was definitely moving in that direction. When his school expelled him in the eighth grade, Clinton essentially had nothing to do. He began using drugs, which eventually turned into an addiction. Like others around him, he looked to crime to fuel his habit. He earned a G.E.D. along the way to satisfy authority figures in his life, but it did not lead to lasting change. Eventually convicted of multiple felonies, Clinton spent nearly six years behind bars. He accepted his fate, unaware that any alternatives existed.
One day it dawned on Clinton that he could choose a different outcome for himself. After some research, he made the decision to return to school and ultimately enrolled at LCC. As the first person in his family to attend college, Clinton initially doubted his ability to succeed. Like many first generation students, he worried that he was not smart enough for higher education. Eventually, his fear of incarceration and death drove him to believe that a better life was possible.
Once at LCC, Clinton committed himself fully to academics and student life, and the accolades are piling up. He has earned a place on the “President’s List” for academic achievement for every quarter he has met the minimum credit threshold. He received the Outstanding Student Award in Psychology in 2016-17. He is the 2017-18 President of the Associated Students of Lower Columbia College, and serves as vice president of the honor society as well.
Clinton has also made time in his busy schedule for service. He has collaborated with the ARC of Cowlitz County and the Environmental Health Department. He has been very involved with LCC’s efforts to create a food pantry, called Food for Thought, to assist students struggling with food insecurity.
After completing his Associate in Arts – Direct Transfer Agreement at LCC, Clinton plans to continue his education in pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management. His ultimate goal is to help inspire, motivate and teach others about how to make positive changes in their own lives.
The Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) created the Transforming Lives Awards program in 2012 to recognize current or former students whose lives improved by pursuing higher education at a community or technical college.
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2018 Transforming Lives Award Winner