Submitted by Centralia College

Centralia College has named three students to the 2024 All-Washington Academic Team. They will be recognized formally at a ceremony at noon on Thursday, April 25, at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia. Governor Jay Inslee will be the keynote speaker and present the awards. He declared April 25 as All-Washington Academic Team Day in the state.

Maya Hankins, 17, of Morton, is a Running Start student who works part-time in a civil construction firm, where she discovered a passion for engineering and construction management. In her free time, she is the chapter officer for the Mossyrock Future Farmers of America and she volunteers with her local garden club. She is dedicated to her neighbors and spent almost a year assisting and raising funds for an elderly neighbor who transitioned to a care facility. She plans to transfer to Central Washington University in the fall to study engineering and construction management.

Van Nguyen, 48, of Centralia, immigrated from Vietnam in 2019, seeking better opportunities for herself and her children. She enrolled at Centralia College to study business. She will finish her associate degree in June and will start her bachelor’s degree in the fall. In addition to raising children and earning her degree, she is a student-worker on campus, and she volunteers at Health and Hope Medical Outreach, helping low-income individuals access healthcare resources. She is a first-generation college student.

Valerie Varner, 37, of Centralia, has worked in the real estate industry since she was 18. The job paid well, but it was always just a job. When she had a disabled child, her world changed, and she realized what she was meant to do. She is working towards her associate degree and plans to become a registered nurse. She wants to work in pediatrics and ensure children and parents receive high-quality, compassionate care. She is a first-generation college student.

Each will receive a medallion and a $217 scholarship from KeyBank. The top 16 students, as ranked by PTK and announced at the ceremony on Thursday, will receive an additional $750 from WSECU, and the top three will receive an additional $1,000 from the Washington State Association of College Trustees. Additionally, students who choose to attend Washington State four-year colleges and universities are eligible to receive transfer scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $12,000. 

The All-Washington Academic Team program recognizes and honors the state’s finest higher education students. To qualify for the All-Washington Academic Team, students must be part of the Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. All-Washington Academic Team members will also be ranked at a national level, with a chance to be included in the All-USA Academic Team.

CC’s representatives will be recognized at the May 9 meeting of the Centralia College Board of Trustees.

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