ESD 105 honored with Distinguished Service Award

Yakima Valley College is honored to announce the selection of Educational Service District (ESD) 105 as the 2023 recipient of its Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award provides recognition to a community member or organization who provides support to the mission of Yakima Valley College and its students. The selection is made by the President’s Office.

ESD 105 and YVC share a commitment to education and providing opportunities for lifelong learning. This spring a new partnership between the two organizations along with local school districts highlights this pledge.

“LINK offers an inclusive learning experience, rich with opportunities to network and connect with peers on a college campus,” said ESD 105 Superintendent Kevin Chase. “Our teachers understand the need for individualized pathways and guide students with essential skills and necessary knowledge of resources, but ultimately the students play an active role in facilitating their own movement from school to past-school activities. We are very fortunate to be able to partner with YVC to offer this unique learning experience to students in our region.”

The LINK program allows students with intellectual and development disabilities to network and learn alongside their peers on YVC’s Yakima Campus, creating a sense of advancement, connectedness and community. Through a coordinated effort with local school districts, the program helps eligible students who are on a pathway to graduation, but have not yet exited from high school, complete high school and transition to college courses. A ribbon-cutting and grand opening event showcasing LINK will be held on June 7 from 4 – 6 p.m. in the Yakima Valley College Skills Center, Building #32, at 116 South 15th Avenue.

“Working so closely with ESD 105 has given us the opportunity to serve our community in ways we haven’t been able to before,” said YVC Vice President of Instruction and Student Services Jennifer Ernst.

ESD 105 supports the learning success of more than 66,000 students who attend 25 public school districts and more than 20 state-approved private and tribal schools in South Central Washington. As a service agency, its purpose is to meet the needs of local school districts by coordinating and conducting cooperative programs that benefit the educational needs of young people. As one of nine ESDs in the state of Washington, ESD 105 carries out liaison activities between YVC, local school districts, the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education. 

ESD 105 is a pillar in Washington’s K-12 education system and Yakima Valley College is honored to partner with them to expand learning in South Central Washington

“We truly believe that the keys to a successful start in life after K-12 education are the relationships that students have forged and the knowledge they have of the processes and resources available to continue to support them throughout their lives after graduation,” continued Chase. “Our LINK High School Transition Skills Center prepares our students by providing both.” 

The Distinguished Service Award will be presented during YVC’s Commencement ceremony on June 16.

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