By Sam Fox | Marketing and Communications Coordinator
LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The Edmonds College Foundation awarded $3,600 in scholarships to four students — Jangmi “Esther” Hong, Osbaldo Perez, Israel “Scott” Rehaume, and Katie Sisson — as part of the college’s annual Community Read program.
“I commend these students for their creativity and dedication to learning outside the classroom,” said EC President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “Thank you to our Equity and Inclusion Department for engaging our campus community through books that address critical social issues. Thank you to the Foundation for providing scholarships that encourage students to build community through a common intellectual experience.”
The Community Read brings together the campus and community to read and discuss a different book each year. Programming includes workshops, artist presentations, service-learning projects, and more. The foundation awards scholarships to students who submit creative projects related to the key themes of that year’s book. This year’s selection was “American Like Me” by America Ferrera.
Hong’s project is a poem titled “My blue dream,” which describes her life story and hopes for the future.
“In my home country, South Korea, the color blue does not mean sadness,” said Hong. “On the contrary, it symbolizes cheer and dreams of youth. I have found my dream again in America, and I’m achieving it at Edmonds College.”
Hong is currently studying math at the college. She also volunteers in her church’s program for children.
Perez’s project is a drawing of the American flag titled “La America Moderna” (The Modern America). His drawing incorporates the names, languages, and religions of members of the college community. “We are all part of the fabric of the new America,” he said.
Perez was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Sinaloa, Mexico, and moved back to the U.S. in 2008. He began his studies at EC by taking English classes, and he went on to earn his GED. Now, he is one quarter away from earning an associate’s degree in business and transferring to UW Bothell. He hopes to one day return to his hometown and start a student exchange program.
Rehaume, who is president of the college’s Indigenous Students Cultural Alliance Club and is a member of the Powwow Committee, created a video titled “Labeled Native American.” The video revolves around an original poem, which he recites.
“In my America, we have to fight for what we keep,” the poem begins. “Mother earth’s natural resources, the land, the water — soon we’ll have to fight for the air that we breathe.”
Rehaume is currently earning his associate’s degree in addiction studies. He plans to complete EC’s Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degree in Child, Youth, and Family Studies, a master’s degree in social welfare, and a doctorate in indigenous studies. He ultimately wants to work with Native American communities on issues related to addiction, trauma, and other consequences of poverty.
Sisson, who grew up in New England, created a collage titled “Relatable Correlations.” “It expresses what unites us,” she said, “as people, as living beings, and as inhabitants of Earth.”
Sisson is earning her prerequisites for medical school at EC while working at Swedish Hospital. “Working at Swedish during the COVID-19 crisis has further fueled my desire to join the healthcare community,” said Sisson. “Throughout my shift, I am reminded of what I am doing and why: to help people, to ease suffering, and to make a difference in the lives of others.”
A lifelong athlete, Sisson has played soccer and lacrosse at the NCAA level.
Edmonds College | edcc.edu
Established in 1967, Edmonds College is a public, state community college. Edmonds College’s mission is: Teaching. Learning. Community.
The college serves more than 17,000 students annually, including more than 1,215 international students from 64 countries. The college offers one bachelor of applied science, 63 associate degrees, and 60 professional certificates in 25 programs of study. Its highest enrolled programs are the Associate of Arts/Associate in Science degrees, Business, Pre-Nursing, Computer Science, Biology, and Materials Science and Engineering.
The college is located in the center of the growing south Snohomish County communities of Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, and Woodway.