Class of 2015: English
“It's important to find opportunities to form communities and engage in productive dialogue about peace.”
Ben Soleim has eight siblings, seven of whom were adopted. He credits his early family experiences with teaching him that life does not revolve around any one individual.
After graduating from high school in 2007, Ben moved overseas, spending six months in Australia studying Worldview and Community Development with the University of the Nations. He worked in community development for an additional six months in China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Ben returned home to Longview to serve as a youth pastor from 2008 to 2013, working with hundreds of young people and volunteering in several area high schools.
In Winter 2015 Ben was named to the 2015 All-Washington Academic Team, which recognizes Washington State's finest higher education students through Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for students attending two-year colleges. The team was honored at a ceremony in Olympia.
In Spring 2015 Ben earned his Associate in Arts degree, graduating with honors. He plans to transfer to a four-year university to major in sports journalism.
In the future Ben hopes to use his love of sports as a platform for affecting change. During his world travels, he found sports to be an international language that has the ability to transcend both cultural and ideological barriers.
As globalization continues, Ben feels it is important to find opportunities—such as through shared interest in sports—to form communities and engage in productive dialog about peace. His dream is to cover sports both nationally and internationally.