Rachel Anderson was born and raised in Sequim, in what she described as an abusive, low income household.
“I am a first generation college student,” she said. “I was a stay at home parent of three kids, suffering from really high social anxiety and had really low confidence until I started going back to school in the winter of 2020.”
Putting all of her effort into school helped Anderson to make the President’s list her first quarter. Then, in the spring of 2020 schooling and lives around the world changed dramatically when the pandemic surfaced.
“At the time, I was Head Start Policy Council Chairperson, an OlyCAP board member, and President of PC’s Business and Leadership Club, while trying to tutor my husband for his math class, and trying to teach a six-year-old and eight-year-old,” she said.
Though the experience was stressful, Anderson took it one day at a time, and made the President’s list again in the spring quarter. Currently she is a full time student (15 credits) with all of the same obligations, as well as serving as a new board member for the Sequim Education Foundation.
“Working with everyone in the Basic Food Employment and Training lab and being on the Business and Leadership Club have given me so much confidence,” Anderson said of her Peninsula College experience. “I feel like I can take on the world, and then some.”
She credits the guidance and advice of Dr. Jill Snyder, and Professors Jim Williams and Tonya Knight, for aiding in her academic success.
Dr. Snyder said Anderson’s commitment to her academic goals, support for other students, and leadership qualities make her stand out as a student.
“Rachel’s positive attitude and willingness to help others has inspired her peers to achieve their own success,” Snyder said.
Anderson said Associated Student council events have helped her to come out of her shell. PC’s Fitness Challenges have helped her stay mindful about her health, and jump started her goal to lose 100 pounds. She took third place in the fall art contest, and first place in the college’s pumpkin carving contest.
She will earn her associate’s degree in business administration at the end of winter quarter 2021, and hopes to make the president’s list again.
“I’m trying to apply for scholarships in order to pay for prerequisites that I need before I can apply for the Bachelor’s program at Peninsula College,” Anderson said. “My ultimate goal is to work for a nonprofit agency while running my own art business on the side.”