Jonathan 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.