WVC student honored at Transforming Lives Awards ceremony in Olympia

Maribel Garibay

OLYMPIA - Maribel Garibay, a Wenatchee Valley College student and the WVC nominee for the Transforming Lives Award, was honored at the Transforming Lives Awards ceremony in Olympia on Jan. 21.


Maribel attended with her sister, her WVC mentor TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) Retention Specialist Ivan Valdovinos and WVC President Dr. Jim Richardson.


Maribel is currently a student at WVC. She plans to graduate with her associate of arts and sciences degree this spring. When Maribel was 23, she gave birth to her son, who had been diagnosed during her pregnancy with Spina Bifida—a birth defect which affects the vertebra. When he was born, Maribel decided to apply to WVC to improve her family’s life.


“I was tired of working minimum wage jobs in agriculture,” she wrote in her award application. “The feeling of submitting my admissions application was exhilarating yet terrifying. As a first-generation, low-income, nontraditional student, I knew that I would face many challenges throughout my educational journey.”


With the help of TRIO SSS, Maribel was able to juggle being a full-time student, employee, wife and mother. She applied to and won scholarships to pay for school and maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.67. Maribel plans to transfer to a four-year university and study to become a dental hygienist. She hopes to advocate for and provide necessary oral care to disabled, low-income and Latino communities in Washington.


The Washington State Association of College Trustees (ACT) created the Transforming Lives Awards program in 2012 to recognize current or former students whose lives have been transformed by pursuing higher education at a community or technical college. Find out more about the program and view this year’s winners at sbctc.edu.

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