“I don't have to be a product of my past!”
Former teen dad Cheyenne DeFrates overcame addiction and a lack of college readiness to become an engineer.
His journey to college completion has been anything but traditional.
When alcohol addiction led to a 25-month prison sentence, Cheyenne decided it was time to turn his life around.
After completing a rigorous treatment program for substance abuse while incarcerated, he began looking to better himself in every way possible. The desire to change his life led him to LCC, where he started his path to an engineering degree.
He placed into Math 078, the lowest level of pre-college math. Deane T. Morrison, Engineering Instructor at LCC, said that Cheyenne is the first student to complete a transfer degree in engineering after placing into Math 078.
“This is a special accomplishment”
– Deane Morrison
In the Spring of 2015 Cheyenne earned his Associate of Science transfer degree in engineering and graduated with honors. He's headed to Washington State University in Vancouver to complete his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. The prestigious Community College President's Award he received will cover the cost of full-time tuition.
This scholarship is awarded to students who have leadership potential, are community service oriented, and have a satisfactory GPA. They are nominated by their community college president and receive a renewable full-tuition award.
After earning his bachelor's degree, Cheyenne hopes to secure employment in the region. He credits LCC faculty with helping him achieve his goal of becoming a provider for his wife and four children. His instructors encouraged him to first recognize and then hone his abilities.
“Overall, my background and experience have taught me that humility, knowing my limitations, and cultivating my strengths are the keys to success. My experience at LCC has proven to me that I don't have to be a product of my past." – Cheyenne DeFrates
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