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Foundation scholarship award ceremony

Foundation financially supports students

This spring the YVC Foundation continued its tradition of providing financial support to Yakima Valley College students. The Foundation, which began providing scholarships in 1977, has cumulatively awarded $6.5 million in financial assistance to help students achieve their educational goals.

For the 2022-23 academic year the Foundation is awarding $510,000 to students, with average award amounts at $3,500.

In early June the Foundation Board was able to host an in-person award ceremony for the first time in over two years, and once again be able to meet with award recipients.

An alumna of YVC, Executive Director Stacey Kautz understands the how crucial funding is for students and the importance of helping make sure all students in the Valley have access to higher education.

“With rising living costs it’s even more important now to help students be able to pursue higher education,” said Kautz. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increased need from students in covering not just tuition, fees and books, but also basic living expenses. Sometimes having an extra resource, especially if an unexpected emergency arises, is the difference between a student being able to continue their studies.”

As a result, the Foundation recently expanded their financial assistance to include not only scholarship awards, but also funding to help students facing emergency expenses that could derail their studies. The 2022-23 academic year will also mark the first year in which all YVC students are eligible to earn all scholarship awards.

“Our Foundation board wanted to ensure that we continue to progress and provide necessary support for students in our area,” said Kautz. “For this reason, we felt it was important to open up our scholarship funds to all YVC students. We are excited to continue to expand our partnership with Yakima Valley College and better support its students.”

Student Seth Valdez said the support provided by the YVC Foundation was critical to helping them succeed.

“This scholarship is going to be a big help to me and further my plans to achieve my goal of becoming an elementary teacher,” said Valdez.

Valdez, who completed his associate degree in the fall will be starting the bachelor’s program in teacher education in the fall.

Another student who is grateful for the support is Victoria Gutierrez. Gutierrez has taken classes through YVC’s Running Start program and will be pursing a degree in veterinary technology in the fall.

“This scholarship is really beneficial. I have a single mom so it’ll help me a lot with helping to pay for tuition and textbooks,” said Gutierrez.