Transforming Lives Award Nominee: Brandon Stogsdill
Two exceptional Pierce College students were honored in Olympia on Jan. 22, 2012 as nominees for the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges' Transforming Lives Awards. The nominees were selected by the college presidents for their inspiring stories, commitment to education, and continued work in the community. Representing Pierce College Fort Steilacoom was Brandon Stogsdill. Brandon Stogsdill For Brandon Stogsdill, once a troubled teenager with a difficult home life, it was four years in prison that provided the motivation for dramatic, inspiring change.
"While incarcerated, I thought about what I would change and decided I would change everything," he said. "My purpose in life was to prevent youth from ending up in prison."
While still in prison, Brandon began taking Pierce College classes. Once free, he started at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom and, with the help of scholarships, he graduated with honors, earning an associate degree. He then transferred to the University of Washington and ultimately earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in clinical psychology.
Today, Brandon uses his inspiring story to change the lives of other young people. He volunteers with at-risk youth and as a prisoner advocate, sharing his story across the state. He is currently implementing The REAL Project, a three-phased systematic program he designed while incarcerated to help at-risk youth understand the repercussions of destructive behavior. Brandon is also a clinician and case manager for high-risk children and adolescents.