Friday, January 27, 2012

Inspiring Success Story: James McBride discovers new self-confidence and purpose in life

"When I started at Lower Columbia College, my two boys and I were homeless." ~ James McBride

In June 2011 James became the first in his family to graduate from college and earn a degree. He and his two sons now live in a two bedroom apartment of their own, and the boys continue to thrive thanks to LCC's Head Start program.

James McBride and his two sons.
James served in the U.S. Army under Operation Desert Storm, then made several tries at college. In 2009 he and his boys were homeless, living in his parents' home, when he received a postcard saying the boys qualified for Head Start.

That was the first step.

"Head Start allowed me to grow as an individual and learn leadership skills I never dreamed I could learn."

Through James' involvement he was elected to the LCC Head Start Policy Council board all three years that his children attended. He was elected to the Executive Committee first as the Vice President, and then as the Head Start State Representative to the Washington State Head Start Association, where he advocated for children and families.

"Through the LCC Head Start program I have gained a passion for advocacy. I advocate for children and families not only in Washington State, but nationally as well."

In 2010 James was awarded Head Start's National Father of the Year, and in 2011 he graduated from Lower Columbia College with an associate degree in Automotive Technology.

"I have gained so much from attending Lower Columbia College. I have regained independence for myself and my family, and I have a new-found confidence that I can accomplish anything I set my mind and my heart too. I am proud to call myself an LCC Alumni and look forward to giving back to the college that has given me so very much."

In January 2102 James was nominated for the Transforming Lives Award by the Trustee Association of Washington Community And Technical Colleges. Here's James' story of determination and success in his own words.

LCC is very proud to have played a part in James' new-found independence, self esteem and hope for the future.

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