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Students walk across the pedestrian bridge on YVC's Yakima Campus

Class Notes I Spring 2024

Read about the exciting things going on with our current students and alumni. Learn about job changes, professional achievements, a marriage or new addition to their families, gatherings with other YVC alumni or other significant news.

Do you have news to share with your classmates? Submit your news and photos by emailing

I-BEST Pharmacy Assistant program enrolls first cohort

Yakima Valley College’s Integrated Basic Education Skills Training (I-BEST) programs recently enrolled five students into the first Pharmacy Assistant cohort. I-BEST pairs a professional or technical program with Adult Basic Education courses — providing adult learners the support they need to more quickly enter in-demand careers.

The one-quarter Pharmacy Assistant I-BEST program prepares students, like Anastacio Reyes, for entry-level positions as in-demand healthcare professionals with ample employment opportunities and flexible work environments.

“YVC’s program helped to prepare me for the pharmacy assistant by guiding me in the right direction to be successful in the program and giving the learning fundamentals,” says Reyes.

For Reyes, being able to work toward a better career while also finishing high school was key. He hopes other students interested in pursuing higher education consider YVC’s I-BEST program.

“With hard work and dedication in the end it always pays off,” says Reyes. “I did not know what to expect going into furthering my education but I knew it was something I always wanted to achieve so i continued to stay focused and pushed through it.”

Now Reyes is ready to enter the workforce with the skills needed to be successful.  

Students, like Reyes, who earn a Pharmacy Assistant Certificate from YVC also can continue their education working toward a Pharmacy Technician certificate or degree. This program prepares students to learn the essential skills and responsibilities required to be a pharmacist assistant.

A student reaches for a medicine bottle during class for YVC's Pharmacy Technician program.

Alumni and students featured in Yakima Herald-Republic’s 39 under 39

Every year, staffers at the Yakima Herald-Republic reach out to all parts of the community to profile young professionals who are making a difference. This year was a record year for nominations from the community. More than 200 suggestions were submitted and profiles were organized into categories like education, agriculture, advocacy, public service and health care. This year’s list features three Yakima Valley College alumni and one current student.

Andrea Blodgett: Building opportunities at the Boys and Girls Club of the Yakama Nation

Andrea Blodgett grew up in White Swan and, after playing basketball at Yakima Valley College and Idaho State, she returned and began teaching English. Now Blodgett is CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of the Yakama Nation. The Boys and Girls Club of the Yakama Nation provides after school and summer programs to youth across the Lower Valley. Based in Toppenish, the organization has sports, educational and cultural learning activities.

Andrea Blodgett
Andrea Blodgett, Yakama Nation Boys and Girls Club director, is pictured in the Yakima Herald-Republic studio Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in Yakima, Wash. Evan Abell / Yakima Herald-Republic

Breanna Stratton: Events coordinator at the Downtown Association of Yakima

Breanna Stratton is a Yakima Valley College graduate, with associate degrees in accounting and business management. After working in the restaurant business, Breanna Stratton was looking for a change three years ago. Today, as the events coordinator and administrative assistant at the Downtown Association of Yakima, Stratton helps put on some of the association’s major events, such as the Downtown Summer Nights and First Fridays, along with maintaining the association’s social media and coordinating a cadre of volunteers. She and her husband also run a jewelry shop, making jewelry from wires and crystals.

Breanna Stratton Courtesy photo
Breanna Stratton, courtesy photo.

Kayla Krueger: Flower farmer and Naches Valley high school student

Kayla Krueger is a busy high school student. She participates in the Yakima Valley College Running Start program and maintains a 4.0 GPA. She is a varsity member of the track and cross country teams and an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and 4-H. Krueger also owns a business, Glenn Acres Flower Farm. She grows everything from seed, tends her blooms with love and arranges bouquets. 

Kayla Krueger
Kayla Krueger, courtesy photo.

Federico Martinez: Physician assistant at Apple Valley Family Medicine

As a child of undocumented immigrants, Federico Martinez grew up seeing first-hand the need for better health care in the Yakima Valley. Not just for farmworkers, but for everyone else in the community, too. Having started the Running Start program at Yakima Valley College while he was still in high school, Martinez transferred to UW after graduating. There, he became the first member of his family to graduate from college. Martinez is now a physician assistant at MultiCare Yakima Memorial’s Apple Valley Family Medicine. As a PA, Martinez does most of the things a family doctor would do. He can perform physicals, diagnose illnesses and prescribe medications. 

Federico Martinez
Federico Martinez poses for a portrait in the lobby of Apple Valley Family Medicine in Yakima, Wash., on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. Santiago Ochoa, Yakima Herald-Republic

Story by Stefanie Menard, AA-DTA ’05, communications consultant. Photos Dustin Wunderlich, director of community relations, and Ross Courtney.