Dreamer survivor ready to graduate from Clark College

first_imgJonathan Dutson long dreamed of moving to the Pacific Northwest, where its lush greenery offered a respite from the scorching Arizona sun he grew up beneath. But Dutson was looking as much for a new home as he was looking for an escape.Dutson is one of 700 expected to walk in Clark College’s graduation at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, 17200 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield. Dutson will graduate with a degree in machining technology, and is working at Howser Steel in Portland.But the journey here for the 32-year-old was long.Dutson suffered years of sexual abuse by a relative as a child. His abuser was never prosecuted, and Dutson said he felt shamed into not talking about what he was experiencing at home for years.As a child at school, meanwhile, he was struggling and frequently got into fights.“I never felt safe,” he said. “Everywhere I went there was some form of abuse.”But Dutson always looked forward. After a trip to the Pacific Northwest when he was 13, he knew he’d end up in the region.“I’ve always been a dreamer,” he said.After years of working what he described as dead-end jobs in Arizona and the death of a childhood friend, Dutson packed his bags in 2014 and moved to the area.last_img

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