Cedric Howard, UW Tacoma’s vice chancellor for Student and Enrollment Services, has earned Weyerhaeuser’s 2012 Living the Dream Award for his work in the Tacoma community. The award will be presented at Weyerhaeuser’s annual celebration in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Thursday, Jan. 17.
The award recognizes an individual in the Puget Sound area who has consistently reflected the true meaning of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
Dr. Howard, who joined UW Tacoma as associate vice chancellor for Student Affairs in 2007, was selected for excellence in community building, education and diversity, according to Weyerhaeuser’s nomination committee. The committee was particularly impressed with Howard’s work with low-income boys in Tacoma Public Schools.
Howard recently developed the curriculum for a male mentoring program sponsored by the Alpha Iota Mu Lambda Foundation at the Al Davies Boys and Girls Club in Tacoma. The program brings up to 40 middle- and high-school boys together with professional adult mentors in order to help develop academic and social skills and guide career development.
Raised by a single mother in a low-income neighborhood in Macon, Georgia, Howard says mentors helped him find a path to a better life through education. Working with low-income youths in Tacoma is one way he can pass that on to the next generation, he says.
“I’m a product of the inner city, and mentors helped me realize I can change and actually get a degree,” he said. “As a person who is committed to serving youth and giving them opportunities for a better life, I don’t prefer to have public recognition for the things that I do – but I am ecstatic and humbled to have my name associated with Dr. King’s.”
Howard says Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is particularly meaningful to him.
“He was talking about people like me, people who if given an opportunity can really succeed. The work I’m doing is in honor of everyone who invested in young people like me.”