Highline student benefits from company’s act of gratitude

Second-year Highline student Xavier L. Henderson received welcome news this month when he learned he would receive a $500 scholarship from MacKay Sposito, a civil engineering and multidisciplinary consulting firm with an office in Federal Way.

“I’m just very thankful. I really appreciate it,” said Henderson, of Tacoma.

“It will help with buying books, that’s for sure.”

The scholarship is part of MacKay Sposito’s 40 Years of Thanks campaign, which celebrates the company’s 40th year with 80 acts of gratitude over the course of 40 weeks during 2015.

Lisa Stenberg, an engineer at MacKay Sposito, suggested Highline College as a community organization to give to during the 40-week celebration. A 2010 graduate of Highline, Stenberg is familiar with the importance of education in the South King County area and the impact Highline has had. She transferred to Seattle University where she earned her engineering degree in 2012.

Stenberg calls Henderson a “great candidate” for the MacKay Sposito scholarship.

While in high school, Henderson did not take education seriously and earned a 1.3 GPA before dropping out. After earning his GED, he came to Highline, and with the encouragement of his instructors, his GPA is a 3.5, despite not having reliable transportation and a steady roof over his head.

“Highline is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” said Henderson. “Being at Highline has taught me that I can overcome any barrier in life. My reformed philosophy on life is that if your desires to succeed are greater than your fear of failure then everything is possible for one who believes.”

Henderson will finish his associate degree at Highline in June 2015 and plans to transfer to a four-year institution.

“Xavier is a very well deserving student,” said Rod Stephenson, Executive Director of the Highline College Foundation, who recommended Henderson for the scholarship. “He is a great example of what we do right at Highline and will achieve impressive things.”

Read more about MacKay Sposito’s 40 Years of Thanks campaign at mackaysposito.com. Learn more about the Highline College Foundation at funds4highline.org.