Yakima Valley College celebrates first-generation students this November

On November 8, Yakima Valley College is joining thousands of colleges across the country participating in the National First-Generation College Celebration. Throughout the month of November, the college will celebrate the success and resilience of first-generation students.

Since its founding nearly a century ago, one of the pillars of YVC’s identity has been supporting the aspirations of first-generation college students, President Linda Kaminski notes. Earning a degree or certificate has provided generations of students an essential step toward a better life for themselves, their families and the entire region. This proud legacy continues today with more than 80% of YVC’s students being first-generation, as well as many faculty and staff.

“As a first-generation student myself, I know first-hand the challenges, trepidation and barriers faced by students navigating the requirements of attending college without being able to draw on the experience of a family member,” Kaminski said.

Throughout the month, members of the YVC community are encouraged to honor first-generation students and raise awareness of the support these individuals need to continue thriving. First-generation social media graphics, Zoom backgrounds, email signatures and more are available for download on YVC’s First-Gen Celebration page. On this page there are also stories of several first-gen students, alumni and employees as well as information about YVC resources for first-gen students.

YVC is also hosting a series of virtual financial aid workshops to help first-generation students and their families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). Workshops will be held from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on November 10 and 17, 2021; December 8, 2021; January 12 and 26, 2022; and February 9 and 23, 2022. Volunteers will be available to help answer questions and breakout rooms will be used to review personal information. Register online for the workshops.

Members of the Yakima Valley community who are first-gen or have a story to share about supporting first-gen students are encouraged to share them on social media on November 8 and use the hashtags #YVCFirstGen and #CelebrateFirstGen.

Press Release Contacts:
Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu