Both Students Receive $500 in Scholarships
Two Highline College students have earned statewide recognition and scholarships for their accomplishments this past year.
Heidi Major and Purity were honored as members of the 2021 All-Washington Academic Team for their academic achievement, community service and involvement in college.
Major, Purity and other top scholars from the state’s 34 community and technical colleges were recognized during the April 15 virtual awards ceremony through South Puget Sound Community College.
Each college can nominate up to four students for the award. To qualify, students must apply for recognition and be members of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Pi Sigma is the Highline chapter of the international honor society.
By being named to the All-Washington team, Major and Purity have each earned $500: $250 given by KeyBank and $250 by the Highline College Foundation.
Purity, a 34-year-old living in Seattle, holds a 3.98 GPA and is pursuing a network security engineer associate degree. After one day obtaining her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in the field, the first-generation college student intends to join the cybersecurity industry.
But getting to where she is today –– recognition for a high GPA in a degree pathway typically dominated by men –– has not been without significant challenge.
“Growing up, I envied kids who went to college and promised myself that one day, however long it took, I would also earn a degree and improve my life and that of my dependents,” Purity said.
In addition to working toward a career that advances safe information technology environments, Purity has aspirations to one day mentor women who have fallen victim to domestic violence by helping them advance in successful careers in the cybersecurity industry.
Major, a 42-year-old living in Covington, holds a 4.0 GPA and is pursuing a business associate degree along with three certificates. After one day obtaining her bachelor’s degree in business, management, marketing and administration, Major intends to stay employed where she currently works at a major airlines company.
The 21-year airlines employee said getting a formal education in her field will give her more opportunities to grow in her career. Not only did Major go back to school as she retained employment, but she persisted in her education during a time when her husband lost his job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am passionate about working with people, primarily in the aviation industry,” she said. “This area of study excites me as I feel, after so many years in the tourism industry, I am finally getting a formal education and beginning to understand why [we do] many of the things we do at our company and in this industry…”
Major has also volunteered in her community by participating in Alaska Airlines Aviation Day, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Big Climb fundraiser, the Ronald McDonald House Super Bowl Party, the American Heart Association Heart Walk and by giving her time to Northwest Harvest.
The All-Washington Academic Team program is sponsored by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Washington Association of Community and Technical Colleges, Washington State Association of College Trustees and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.