All College Day with Donna Beegle

When: Friday, February 13, 2015

About Donna Beegle

Dr. Donna M. Beegle, is an authentic voice who speaks, writes and trains across the nation to break the iron cage of poverty. She is the author of “See Poverty, Be The Difference,” and “An Action Approach to Educating Students Who Live in the Crisis of Poverty.” Donna’s inspiring story and work have been featured in newspapers around the nation, on local TV and on National programs such as PBS. For 23 years, Donna has worked with educators, justice professionals, health care providers, social service agencies, and other organizations who want to make a difference for those living in the crisis of poverty. She was selected 2008 National Speaker of the Year by the New Mexico State Bar Foundation. In 2010, Portland State University's School of Social Work dedicated the Donna M. Beegle Community Classrooms in her honor. In 2011, she won the Oregon Ethics in Business award.


Donna is the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated. After growing up in generational migrant labor poverty, leaving school for marriage at 15, having two children and continuing to cope with poverty, she found herself, at 25, with no husband, little education, and no job skills. What followed were: self-confidence, a G.E.D., an A.A. in Journalism, a B.A. (with honors) in Communications, a Master’s Degree in Communication with a minor in Gender Studies (with honors), and completion of a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership. Donna co-founded Communication Across Barriers with her mentor, Dr. Bob Fulford in 1989. She currently serves as President.

Poverty in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties

As you already know, the statistics and facts about poverty in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties are staggering and tend to erase most positive opportunities that could benefit our citizens. Grays Harbor and Pacific counties lead the State with the highest rates of poverty and unemployment. Sadly, we also have experienced some of the fastest growth in child poverty in our State. Last year, our regional poverty rate was six percent higher than the statewide average. At GHC, we also have the highest percentage of students receiving needs based financial aid among Washington’s community colleges. We know that the impacts of poverty on our communities are ruinous, and have particularly adverse effects on academic outcomes such as poor academic achievement, school dropouts, and developmental delays.