College Success Foundation honored with Distinguished Service Award

Yakima Valley College is honored to announce the selection of College Success Foundation (CSF) as the 2024 recipient of its Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award provides recognition to a community member or organization that provides support to the mission of Yakima Valley College and its students. The selection is made by the President’s Office.

CSF recently hired a College Success Coach located on YVC’s Yakima Campus as part of the organization’s expansion of its college coaching services in partnership with Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC). The success coach focuses on supporting students with an integrated system of academic, financial, social and emotional supports as they transition from high school and pursue their post-secondary credential at YVC.

Jennifer Ernst, vice president for instruction and student services at YVC, said having a CSF student success coach based on campus enhances the college’s existing supports for students such as academic advising and tutoring.

“CSF has demonstrated exceptional success in working with students beginning in middle school to start developing the mindsets and abilities they need to be successful in life,” Ernst said. “By embedding a coach here at YVC, it helps with the continuity of the personal support students receive through high school and college.”

CSF has worked in Yakima public schools since 2001, starting at A.C. Davis High School and expanding to Eisenhower High School along with three middle schools. More than 13,300 CSF Scholars have graduated from college as of 2023.

“YVC is incredibly grateful for the work that College Success Foundation does. Together we open up the opportunities that our community needs,” said Ernst.

Starting in middle school, CSF works to ensure students know college is an option for them and what early steps they can take to become ready for college. In grades 9-10, programming focuses on supporting students as they successfully transition to high school. In grades 11-12, CSF staff help students navigate their final two years of high school and prepare for a successful college experience through college visits, one-on-one advising, financial aid application assistance, scholarship assistance and more.

“We’re honored and grateful to receive this award,” said Carol Garza, executive director of CSF’s Yakima region. “Our close partnership with Yakima Valley College enables us to deliver a tightly integrated, holistic set of services to our students in the Yakima Valley, and their success is a testament to the strength of this collaboration.”

Once in college, CSF continues their support of students through college and career coaching, networking with other CSF Scholars and alumni, and connections with business and community partners to successfully complete their college journey.

The Distinguished Service Award will be presented during YVC’s Commencement ceremony on June 14.

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 /
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 /