Lucero Liliana Mendez 

Through the CAMP program I’ve made so many friendships and keep in touch with my peers.

Lucero Lilliana Student Story Featured Image


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



College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) 

What three words would you use to describe YVC? 
Grounding, Transformative, Exciting

What’s your favorite class? Why? How has it expanded your knowledge?  
English 101 with Dodie Forrest. She really incorporated what we are interested in (superheroes) creatively into her writing assignments and lessons. 

Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor? 
[CAMP Grant Director] Marivy Vasquez was the start of everything for me. She was the instructor in the first class I took at YVC (medical interpreter) and because of that experience with her it made me want to continue on for a DTA [direct transfer degree]. 

What made you want to come to YVC? 
I decided to go to YVC and build upon my knowledge from working in the medical field and train for a higher paying career. 

How did you decide on a major?  
After working in the medical field for four years I’ve learned a lot about mental health and working with patients who are struggling. I wanted to pursue a major that would allow me to take what I’ve learned and build upon it. 

Are there any barriers that you’ve overcome to be successful at YVC? Please describe.  
At 15 I was in a car accident. I suffered PTSD and didn’t realize how much it was affecting me until after I graduated. As a first-generation student who didn’t drive I didn’t have a way to get to campus. After a friend from church helped me learn to drive and I overcame my PTSD I’m really grateful to be here. 

What do you like or find most interesting about your major? 
How much my major can branch out. One of the courses I took, I believe it was College Academic Skills 106, our instructor really helped us pinpoint what job we wanted. 

Where do you find your community on campus? 
Through the CAMP program I’ve made so many friendships and keep in touch with my peers. We’ve been able to travel together to Chicago for a conference earlier this year and participated in the college’s Rodeo Drive Fashion Show event. 

What advice do you have for prospective students? 
Biggest advice, don’t focus on the large universities. In high school I felt pushed toward the bigger universities. I wish someone would have guided me toward YVC at that time. There is so much you can learn from your local community college. It’s a great place to get a foundation. 

What’s your favorite spot on campus? 
Upstairs in Raymond Hall Library – the tutoring center and quiet study spaces. 

How has Yakima Valley College changed you? 
YVC has brought so much to me that I’d been wishing for myself. It has allowed me to travel to a city I’d never been before and win 1st place in an art contest. It has also allowed me to make friends through a great program (CAMP). 

How do you manage stress? 
Through my faith. 

Do you have a job? How do you work that into your schedule? 
Yes, healthcare worker at Cedar Hills Adult Family Home. 

What do you view is your biggest achievement at YVC? 
Completing two quarters with a 3.2 GPA. Becoming an outstanding member of CAMP. The support I’ve received from CAMP has been absolutely generous for first year students. I’ve been able to attend the National [CAMP] Conference in Chicago. I’m so thankful to have had this opportunity. It’s amazing that it all came from meeting one faculty member, it’s turned into a beautiful journey for me. 

Did you receive any financial aid or scholarship funding to attend YVC? If so, please describe how this helped you on your journey. 
Yes, from CAMP and an Opportunity Grant 

What is your ultimate goal? Where would you like to end up?  
Earn a bachelor’s degree and work as a psychologist/counselor in a K-12 school. I’d like to take what I know about mental health, build on my knowledge and help others learn about healthy relationships. Hopefully, helping to recognize symptoms of mental health and different behavioral areas in individuals at a younger age. 

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