Esmeralda Cruz 

When I lost my mom, I made her a promise that I would make something of myself. I enrolled at YVC to make my dreams come true. 

Esmerelda Cruz Student Story Profile Picture.

Degree/Certificate & Class Year

South Gate, Calif. 

Elementary Education

I enjoy drama and theatre and am part of the Princess Theater in Prosser. 

What three words would you use to describe YVC?  
Constant, Learning, Experience 

Job Title, Organization 
Temporary Bilingual Office Assistant 3, Yakima Valley College, Grandview Campus 

Continuing Studies 
Yes, I am. I decided to get another degree. I am working towards an Associate of Applied Science in Vineyard and Winery Technology. 

What made you want to come to Yakima Valley College?  
A promise I made to my mom. In 2018 I lost my mom and I promised her I was going to make something of myself. I enrolled at YVC to make my dreams come true and [I am determined to] not let anything stop me. 

Why did you major in Elementary Education?  
Ever since I was young I wanted to teach the little ones and show them that they can have their dreams come true.  

What have you been doing since graduation?  
I have been working and going back to school. I also like to paint and collect Funko Pops and Harry Potter Legos.  

How did YVC prepare you for your job?  
It helped me to better understand a variety of different processes.  

What was your favorite class? How did it expand your knowledge?  
I enjoyed all the classes I took at YVC. I learned a lot from them, but I did take away the most from my Chicano Studies class with Dr. Keith Reyes. Reyes showed me how one can learn more when you don’t chase a letter grade. If you chase your grade, you won’t get all the information needed for your classes rather than learning what you can. 

Who was your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor? I have had two mentors here at YVC. One of my mentors was [Student Life Program Assistant] Stacy Wahl. She has helped me out a lot, throughout my learning at YVC— even learning the significance of making a thank you card. Another mentor I had here at YVC was [Assistant Dean] Pedro Navarrete. In the short time that I have known him, he has shown me the importance of helping out students. I’ve learned why it is important to try and see a student’s point of view and try to help them out the best one can.  

How do you encourage other alumni to give back to the college? I think they can give back by sharing who helped them out when they attended YVC and letting students know what they enjoyed most from their time at YVC.  

Where there any barriers that you had to overcome to be success at YVC? Please describe:  
A barrier I had to overcome was focusing on my mental health and managing my time. At one point I remember feeling burned out since I was putting too much on myself. I was so focused on school that I didn’t listen to my health until it was too late, I was burned out. I had to learn to give myself little times to enjoy and not just be focused on work and school. 

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