The Edmonds College Board of Trustees awarded Ayesha Bodiat with its 2021 Transforming Lives award.
“The Board of Trustees is deeply committed to and inspired by the success of our students, many of whom overcome daunting obstacles to achieve their educational goals,” said EC Board Chair Carl Zapora. “Ayesha’s story is one of courage and grit, and we are thrilled to recognize her achievements with the Transforming Lives award.”
“Ayesha is well-deserving of this honor and recognition,” said EC President Dr. Amit B. Singh. “Her educational journey is inspiring and shows her commitment and determination to succeed, despite challenges.”
Bodiat traveled to the U.S. from Johannesburg, South Africa with her children in August 2019 to pursue her education. “My journey came with challenges––moving to the U.S. with a nine and 13 year old and being separated from my husband, my family, and friends; a life that I had known and been used to for 17 years, and then adjusting to a global pandemic during this separation.
“Getting up each morning and finding motivation to succeed even when I am almost twice the age of other students has also been challenging, along with managing full-time studies, whilst single-parenting my children and helping them transition.”
Bodiat is pursuing an associate’s degree in business administration and plans to continue her studies at a university to complete a double major in accounting and information systems.
“My advice to future students is to use the wonderful resources available on college campuses to aid in accomplishing your degree and don’t hesitate to ask for help,” she said. “Too many of us are not pursuing our dreams, due to the limitations imposed by our fears. Today, I know that my strength is stronger than my fears.”
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.
Bodiat was one of 34 Transforming Lives awardees from across the state who were selected by each college’s respective board of trustees and received a $250 award from the ACT. To view this year’s nominees and their stories, go to sbctc.edu.