Darlene Mendoza

“I really liked the role the school played in the community. I am proud to belong and be part of this college.”

Darlene Mendoza Student Story Cover Photo

Degree & Class Year
Associate of Applied Science Radiologic Sciences ’24

Raised in Toppenish, currently living in Yakima

What three words would you use to describe YVC?
Accommodating, Innovative, Disciplined

What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?
My favorite class was when taking my pre-requisite class year 2021. I’ve always loved talking and conversing with people, it’s who I am but I struggled to carry on a conversation. Since this class focused a lot on developing conversation skills, I was able to get past that hurdle and now I can easily hold a conversation in my healthcare career with patients.

I liked that the professor made the class fun and came up with activities that challenged us to expand our vocabularies and learn how to communicate the right way quickly.

As a whole, the experience made me realize that things seem a lot less overwhelming once you actually dive in and that’s something that I plan to keep in mind as I start my professional life.

Who was your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?
Michele Coville (Radiologic Sciences Instructor) is my mentor. I consider her my mentor because long before I got accepted to the radiology program she was always a great help and never failed at giving me great advice and made sure I didn’t give up on what I wanted to do.

I had a question about anything school related, I would go directly to her first. Not once did she turn me around.

She was always there to help me succeed and because of her, I am the woman I am today with so much potential and willing to push through anything that gets thrown at me.

What made you want to come to YVC?
I just love everything about YVC. First of all, the campus. The huge library, the park, I just found the place incredibly inspirational and motivating.

I had visited it several times already before high school. What’s more, I like the mission statement of your school, the role you all play in a local community, and was proud to belong and be part of this college.

How did you decide on a major?
I did a lot of job shadowing at Memorial Hospital. I shadowed RTs and I completely loved what they did. That’s when I decided that I wanted to get into the radiology program.

Are there any barriers that you’ve overcome to be successful at YVC?
My first language is Spanish, and it was not until I began schooling at the age of five did I feel the impact of not knowing English in a predominantly English-speaking country. Sometimes it was difficult for me to understand some words while in college or mixing my sentenced with English and Spanish, or even talking “Spanglish”.

Overcoming a language barrier is a tall task to say the least, but it is most certainly not an impossible one. My advice to those who find themselves in a similar position is to find the means of learning that work best for your mind. Not everybody will be able to look at a book and digest the rules of a language, so know that you can find the style of learning that will be best processed by your mind.

Most importantly, don’t let your frustration overcome your dedication to learn the language. Whether or not you need to learn the language for a reason like my own, or if you’re choosing to learn it for the sake of learning it, find your way of learning and enjoy the process!

What do you like or find most interesting about your major?
I like that every day there is something new. We learn something new every day! It’s challenging and I love overcoming challenges for the better of me!

Where do you find your community on campus?
In the library, because it is calm and relaxing.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Set high personal and academic standards for yourself, and live up to them. Listen to that little voice inside you that says, “I can do this.” Believe in yourself. Realize that school is work; it’s not play time. Settle for nothing less than your very best.

Willingness to accept anything less than the very best too often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Strive for an “A” in all your courses. If you fall short of an “A”, you might earn a “B”. If you fall short of a “C”, you might earn a “D” or “F”. Always strive for the best for YOURSELF. And remember, keep your goal in mind.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?
The Library

How has YVC changed you?
To never give up. There will be people that have higher standard than you, and you will see a little bit of everything in YVC. That’s what changed me while going to YVC, to never try to get at someone else’s level, you are your own kind of special.

How do you manage stress?
Managing stress is one of the hardest things to do while in school but it IS manageable. Take a minute to breathe. I go on walks and talking to someone always helps.

What do you view as your biggest achievement at YVC?
Getting accepted to the Radiology Program, when I started college. It was so difficult for me to pass my classes, there was so much going on at home, and concentrating with school work.

I would fail once and twice and still managed to continue because I knew that giving up was not an option for what I wanted to do. I kept going until I made it.

Did you receive any financial aid or scholarship funding to attend YVC? If so describe how this as helped you on your journey?
Yes I did receive Financial Aid. It helped me SO much with everything.

If it wasn’t for the help, honestly the only problem that would keep me from coming to college would be because of money. So I really do appreciate the help.

What is your ultimate goal? Where would you like to end up?
Graduating and becoming a Radiologist Technologist. Something that I’ve always wanted!

Interested in getting started at YVC? Visit our admissions page or request information.