Adelina Machuca Santiago

Adelina Machuca Santiago

LCC's 2021 Transforming Lives Award winner

Adelina Machuca Santiago was named LCC's 2021 Transforming Lives Award winner.

Adelina grew up in extreme poverty in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her family had no electricity or running water, not enough food, and no access to medical care. She had to walk five hours a day in all kinds of weather just to attend high school classes.

When she arrived in Washington, Adelina came to Lower Columbia College to learn English. For two quarters, she worked nights while attending English as a Second Language (ELL) classes during the day. She quickly moved on to College and Career Preparation (CCP) classes, and received her high school diploma in 2014. Adelina immediately started college classes, but was unsuccessful her first quarter. She did not give up.

Adelina was determined to succeed, and sought out both financial and academic resources, including I-BEST, Opportunity Grant, tutoring and career counseling. She worked incredibly hard, and ultimately made the honors list (several times). In spring 2016, LCC faculty bestowed her with the Outstanding Pre-College English Student of the Year Award.

In 2018-19, Adelina received an associate degree in Medical Office Administration. She also received Community, Health and Wellness Advocate and Health Occupations Core for Healthcare Workers certificates. She currently works full-time as a child wellness advocate.

The road Adelina traveled to get where she is today was long, scary and frequently dangerous. Her determination and tenacity helped her succeed, and her dedication to helping others makes her both endearing and inspiring.

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