YVC Announces the 2018 All-Washington Academic Team Members: Rene Guevara and Antonio Valencia
Yakima, WA – Yakima Valley College is proud to announce Rene Guevara and Antonio Valencia have been named members of the 2018 All-Washington Academic Team. They will be honored at the annual reception in Olympia on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at South Puget Sound Community College.
Name: Rene Guevara
Degree: Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology
Rene Guevara was born in the Central American country of El Salvador. Violence in the region pushed Guevara to consider a new home; following high school, he decided to migrate to the Yakima Valley. He began working in the agricultural fields but knew he wanted to pursue something more. Knowing little English, he began looking for ways to continue his education. With the help of staff with Central Washington University’s (CWU) High School Equivalency Program (HEP) he enrolled in YVC’s GED courses and was able to take courses through YV TECH.
After earning his GED, he began to look for ways to pursue a degree in information technology. “I’ve always had a passion for computers,” stated Guevara. “Since I was a little kid I’ve been breaking them and putting them back together, usually before my parents got home. I’ve always liked how the industry is changing and growing and there is always new stuff to learn,” he continued.
With funding from Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) and scholarships, he began attending YVC in the fall of 2014. Guevara credits YVC’s friendly staff and resources with helping him succeed. “I would not have been able to work toward my goals without YVC. There are so many friendly staff members, such as Marivy Vasquez, who were always available to help or to talk with when you when there is an issue. YVC definitely helped me get on the right path,” he continued.
He earned two degrees from YVC in the winter of 2017, an associate of applied science degree in information technology-general and an associate of applied science degree in information technology-network administration. He then transferred to CWU and began working towards a bachelor’s degree in cyber security. He plans to continue his studies to earn a master’s degree, and hopes to one-day work as a programmer for a large organization or government agency.
Name: Antonio Valencia
Degree: Associate in Business
Antonio Valencia was born in Yakima, WA and attended school in Selah, before graduating high school in 2016. His next step brought him to Yakima Valley College, pursing a transfer degree in information technology.
“I was first introduced to computer science during my junior year in high school,” stated Valencia. “The technology class introduced me to programming, gaming and robotics. I did some additional research and realized my biggest interests were gaming and robotics,” he continued.
Assimilating to college life was a challenge for Valencia, but he found resources to help him succeed. “After high school I wasn’t prepared for what college courses would be like. I struggled with time management between work, homework, and my personal life. I like how YVC’s program is less formal, which provides more one-on-one time with instructors and fellow students. There is also less waiting time when I need help. Additional resources on campus, such as the math, writing, and tutoring center have also been a big help to me,” he continued.
Outside of the classroom, Valencia is active on campus as a member of the MESA and Engineering Clubs, and he serves as Vice President of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He also maintains a part-time job and volunteers at his church.
He plans to graduate in the spring of 2019, then transfer to Washington State University Tri-Cities and pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He hopes to eventually work for a large organization that will allow him to fulfill his passion.
The All-Washington Academic Team program recognizes and honors our state’s finest higher education students. The students who make up the All-Washington Team reflect the diversity of the state, maintain high standards of excellence, and contribute positively to the community. Their stories are often inspiring, sometimes surprising, and always reflective of the larger story of the state’s community and technical college students. The program has become the showcase for Washington’s community and technical colleges because it honors the academic high achievers, the men and women who have demonstrated a commitment to success in the classroom and in the communities in which they live. This recognition demonstrates the state’s commitment to scholarship and community service on the part of those attending the state’s public community and technical colleges. For more information: https://spscc.edu/allwa.