Alumnus wins election, works to improve Whittier

by Tiffany Liu

Whittier’s newest city councilman walked Spartan halls for four years, ran track, played football, and wrote articles for the paper. Nowhere on his agenda at that time was the goal of winning elections and maneuvering in the political world.

“I was a late bloomer,” said Henry Bouchot, “I did not really take an interest in politics or leadership positions in high school because I was just trying to pass my classes so I could graduate and go on to college.”

Graduating from Schurr in 2003, Bouchot earned a B.A. in history at Loyola Marymount University and went on to earn a law degree from Boston College, where he met his wife Christina. After his military service, he earned a master’s degree in business from Mt. St. Mary’s University.

“Graduate school, military service, losing loved ones, there will be lots of changes in your professional and personal life,” said Bouchot,  “You will look back at high school as a relatively tranquil time.”

After completing Marine Corps training during summers in college, he furthered his passion for public service as a military lawyer, serving in Afghanistan before re-entering civilian life. He settled in Whittier with his wife, who is also an attorney, and they now have two young sons, John and Diego.

“The Marine Corps gave me a sense of responsibility and taught me skills I did not have,” said Bouchot, “Later on, when I saw that our city needed a leader, I found that I was equipped with tools to at least try and give it a chance.”

Finding himself in a campaign against a 36-year incumbent and other challengers, Bouchot utilized his experience in the Marines and organization skills to promote interest in the city election and rally supporters . He took on leadership roles as a Whittier city social services commissioner, volunteered to be a neighborhood watch block captain, and founded his own non-profit company to assist disabled veterans.

“They say people don’t change easily, but in the right situations, you actually change faster than you think,” said Bouchot, “Don’t be scared to change, because change is the only thing that is constant.”

As he begins work as a councilman, Bouchot hopes to join with the more experienced members to eventually create a safer, more prosperous Whittier. He believes that slow and steady wins the race, and that perseverance is the most important thing.

“Who you are today is not who you are going to be tomorrow, so just keep working at it. You’ve got a long life and what you feel is happening today is not necessarily what will happen tomorrow,” said Bouchot.

Looking back at his high school days, Bouchot encourages students to take advantage of opportunities and enjoy their time as Spartans, for there is certainly change coming in future years.

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