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Alen Janisch sits in the original Rodeo Drive

Janisch leaves legacy of support

When Business Technology Instructor Alen Janisch passed away in August 2022 he left a legacy of support with a bequest of $25,000 to the YVC Foundation.

Janisch dabbled in real estate out of college before finding his true passion, education. He taught music before moving to Yakima and joining the faculty at Yakima Valley College. While at YVC, he started a program called “Rodeo Drive” where students could find high-end clothing for their job interviews or other important meetings.

This fall, ASYVC decided to continue Rodeo Drive in memory of Janisch. A portion of his gift will provide financial support to the student government to continue providing students with business attire. The remaining funds will support YVC students facing emergency expenses that could derail their studies.

Those who knew Janisch felt that he truly found a wonderful community and impacted many friends and students. Colleague and friend Jamie Treat said Janisch’s influence on him was profound.

When I first met [him], I was a new instructor to the college,” shares Treat. “Alen was kind enough to let me sit in on some of his classes. His teaching style was very optimistic and engaging for students. He encouraged thoughtful debate and taught U.S. history and writing, using insightful examples and stories.”

Janisch’s dedication to his students had no limits according to Treat.

“I would often find Alen working long hours in Rodeo Drive or in his classroom grading papers,” recounts Treat. “He always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell. Alen was unwavering in his dedication to student success and his students are proof of his enthusiasm and determination. It is amazing to see that Rodeo Drive will continue to live on, as a symbol of his commitment to student achievement.”

Help Support Janisch’s legacy

Have clothing you’d like to donate? Bring your gently used items to the Student Life Office on the Yakima or Grandview campus during their regular office hours.