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Gilbert Solano and his mother

Student Highlight I Gilbert Solano

After getting his start at Yakima Valley College, Gilbert Solano will continue his education at an Ivy League school with a full-ride scholarship next fall.

Solano grew up in the Yakima Valley and first began attending YVC’s Upward Bound program to help high school students earn their diploma and pursue post-secondary education.  In the fall of 2020, he enrolled in YVC’s Running Start program.

“I chose [the Running Start] program with the intent of finding more challenging classes and a wider variety of classes than those at the high school, also with the intent of finishing college/high school requirements,” stated Solano.

With support from faculty and staff in YVC’s STEM programs, Solano quickly realized his desire to work toward becoming a software engineer.

Solano also had the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research while attending YVC. His project helped create an iPhone iOS application where users were able to track their time for various activities.

“It was exciting and new experiencing the program as we navigated learning how to code Swift and collaborating to create a final application,” Solano said.

This spring, Solano learned that he was accepted for the QuestBridge National Match Scholarship to attend Brown University this fall. The $84,000 yearly scholarship award means Solano will be able to focus on his studies without worry about finances.

Gilbert Solano with Brown University Sign
Gilbert Solano with Brown University sign

“I don’t believe I would have been able to attend Brown University without this scholarship. While I believe that Brown could have still given me a generous financial aid package, my scholarship fulfills extra fees and ensures that there is zero parental contribution needed.” — Gilbert Solano

He will complete his associate transfer degree this spring with a solid foundation and looks forward to the next step in his academic journey.

“I believe that [YVC] provided me with the right experience to tackle a 4-year university. I just want to thank my family, my Upward Bound program, and the STEM advisors and faculty at YVC who have helped me during this journey,” Solano said.