Associate in Arts
Alex Soto grew up in the Yakima Valley and graduated from Naches Valley High School before transferring to a four-year university. Struggling with the academic rigor of college, Soto returned to Yakima and began working in the retail setting before enrolling at YVC. “I chose YVC because it was inexpensive and was a great way for me to ease back into school. After my first attempt at college I took a three or four year break. So YVC gave me the chance to figure out how handle school and work,” stated Soto.
Excelling at his coursework he graduated with an associate in science degree. He plans to transfers to a four-year university and one day hopes to work as a high school teacher.
Following graduation Alex was selected to participate in YVC’s undergraduate summer research projects. These projects are made possible by a science, technology, engineering, and math grant through the US Department of Education. YVC works in partnership with Heritage University to offer this opportunity to students. Soto worked with YVC faculty and a group of students in collaboration with Toppenish and Kittitas Wastewater Treatment Plants. The students researched water quality. “I chose this research opportunity because it gave me a chance to learn what research is really like. The program benefitted me because it showed me what research entails. It’s not something that’s big and scary. It’s attainable,” he continued. Having enjoyed this experience, Soto hopes others will take part in opportunities for research. “I would recommend that anyone interested in a STEM major should apply for research opportunities. It will really help you realize just how much you like science and if you want to pursue a career in it. It’s also just a lot of fun,” he concluded.