Jessica Mariscal 

I believe YVC has made me more independent and at the same time I’m more willing to ask for help when I need it. I feel like it’s preparing me for my life to come.


Degree/Certificate & Class Year 
Associate in Arts Transfer, 2024 

Clifton, Idaho 

High School Attended 
West Side High School 

Language Arts, Undecided  

Extracurriculars (e.g., clubs, YVC sports teams) 
Women’s Volleyball Team, Student Residence Center  

What three words would you use to describe YVC? 
Interesting, Inclusive, Friendly 

What’s your favorite class? Why? How has it expanded your knowledge? 
English 102 with Eric Anderson. I’ve never liked English; it’s never been something I enjoy. I don’t enjoy reading so when I finally entered the class, I wasn’t very excited. But then we talked a lot about AI [artificial intelligence] and he had specific topics and worked with us every day. Going in person helped and on Thursdays he would bring our class doughnuts, which helped motivate me. It ended up being a really fun class.  

Who is your mentor? Why do you consider this person your mentor? 
My mom and sister (who is a YVC alumna) have helped me with picking classes and providing support. I’ve relied a lot on my teammates. The other teammates helped me out a bunch during my freshman year and now that I’m a sophomore I’m able to help out my freshman teammates.  

What made you want to come to YVC? 
I received a volleyball scholarship to attend YVC. Coach Dekker recruited my older sister, Emma, to play for the Yaks and when she saw a newspaper article that I was included in, she reached out and recruited me while I was a junior in high school. She’s been scouting me ever since and so when I graduated high school, she’s followed up and told me she’d like me to come play for YVC. I actually got to play last season with my sister, Emma, and was also able to play with my younger sister while still in high school. This season is my first year playing by myself. 

Are there any barriers that you’ve overcome to be successful at YVC? Please describe. 
Last year there was a month I had to return home and missed three weeks of classes. I emailed my instructors but got behind in my classes with assignments, quizzes and tests. My psychology instructor Tom Mount kept in contact with me throughout my time away and was really helpful in getting me back on track. I even stopped by his office to talk with him in person and it helped me realize that I should be doing that more often with all of my classes.    

Where do you find your community on campus? 
I’ve found community in the HUB [Hopf Union Building]. I like that there’s always activities happening in the space. I remember last year they had tacos set out and it was just a big activity and I saw more students than I ever had. It’s nice to see people around and participate in events. I like how the space has those cafeteria tables and they always have clubs and groups hosting events. Like the other day they had popcorn for a Spanish club [and] it made me consider joining the club. I also like how they have student focused activities during finals to help students destress.  

What advice do you have for prospective students? 
I find, especially from the freshmen that are coming in, it’s a lot about stepping out of their comfort zone. Obviously the first few weeks are going to be tough, especially away from your family. But, just being at YVC, you get to meet people and especially if you join a team or a club you get to be with those people, and they become your automatic friends.  

So you might seem lonely for a little bit, but I’ve always found someone to talk to and it’s helped talking to teachers, getting to know them. A lot of my teammates have backed away from in-person classes or gone mostly online but I really enjoy having in-person classes. I get to meet people in classes and then when I walk on campus, I remember those students and the classes we were in together and it’s kind of nice. 

What’s your favorite spot on campus? 
There’s a cabinet in the HUB that has granola bars and water and that is where I go if I have a break or have somewhere I don’t need to be right then. I go there, grab a snack and then there’s couches in there, so that’s my go-to spot.  

How has Yakima Valley College changed you? 
I believe YVC has made me more independent and at the same time I’m more willing to ask for help when I need it. I am willing to ask my teachers for help and my classmates, but at the same time I’m good to do things more independently. I feel like it’s preparing me for my life to come. I’m still trying to figure out my career and what I want to go into after college. YVC was a good next level for me coming from a small high school. I don’t know if I would’ve wanted to jump straight into a four-year university, so attending YVC has been nice. 

How do you manage stress? 
My coach [Darci Dekker] has our team on an app [Neuro Fuel] that works with our mental toughness and everything we do on the court. For managing my stress levels a big thing has been to focus on my breathing. I focus a lot on my breathing, and when I do get stressed I try to think about other things. Neuro Fuel gets me through it. 

Do you have a job? How do you work that into your schedule? 
Yes, as soon as the season’s over and I come back from Christmas break I start coaching for Yakima Elite Volleyball. Last year I coached a 16-year-old team. I loved it. We traveled and we went to different places. The schedule wasn’t so hard on me. I didn’t have to go every night, it was two practices a week. I didn’t have to worry about it conflicting with school or at the same time I was training for volleyball so it was a nice job and was perfect for what I needed.  

What do you view is your biggest achievement at YVC? 
Honestly, it’s passing all my classes freshman year and continuing to pass classes through sophomore year. High school was already rough for me, I’m a good student, but am not a fan of reading and making it through all the assignments and tests. Balancing the schoolwork and volleyball was rough.  

Did you receive any financial aid or scholarship funding to attend YVC? If so, please describe how this helped you on your journey.  
I received a scholarship to play volleyball and a scholarship from the YVC Foundation 

What is your ultimate goal? Where would you like to end up? 
I want to move on from Yakima. I’ve loved my time here and I’ve grown to love it but now I want to see more because the world is so big. I’ve traveled in Mexico and know there’s other places I can be. I’m still unsure what my major and next steps will be. I’ve focused so much of my energy on volleyball I’d like to figure out who I am and what I want outside of the sport. I’ll probably go home for a bit to reset and then go out again to figure out my next steps.

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