Associate of Applied Science in Bilingual Legal Office Assistant
Andrea Barbosa was born in Yakima, Washington, and attended East Valley School District. When her junior year of high school was interrupted by pregnancy, Barbosa moved out of her parents’ home and began living on her own. She then transferred to Davis High School, but due to credit differences, she was required to enroll as a sophomore. Taking ten classes per term, working two jobs, and caring for a baby was extremely difficult, but Barbosa never lost sight of her goal of completing high school. When she learned of the Yakima Online program, she enrolled and was able to successfully complete earn her high school diploma in 2016.
The Yakima Online program helped provide Andrea with a support system. After completing high school she spent some time working, then made the decision to continue her education at Yakima Valley College. She enrolled in the spring of 2017 and began working toward a degree in bilingual legal office assistant.
“My first year was very difficult,” stated Barbosa. “Even after taking so many classes trying to catch up in high school I was not prepared for college. The courses and workload were very challenging. I’ve gone through a lot. I’ve had to pull all-nighters and have had to put my stuff aside to care for my daughter. I don’t think I would be where I am today without YVC. The instructors have been very helpful and have helped guide me in the right direction,” she continued.
Focused on her future, Barbosa wants to help be a role model for her family and give back to the community. “Being a first generation college student I have a lot of people who are counting on me to succeed,” she continued. “I have two younger siblings who struggle and that look to me for encouragement. Coming from a migrant family, I didn’t know about things like financial aid or enrolling in college. Now that I do, I can help my siblings and others in our community,” she continued.
Barbosa is among the students who have received help from YVC’s Rodeo Drive. The brainchild of College and Career Readiness Instructor Allen Janisch, Rodeo Drive provides students with clothing, shoes, and guidance for job interviews. The important service helps get students prepared for their careers. Barbosa recalls: “I was invited to interview with the USDA and I felt very unprepared. When I went to see Mr. Janisch I didn’t feel confident at all. He helped me and provided recommendations on what was appropriate attire for my interview. With his help, I went into the interview feeling like $1m bucks. I felt confident and not at all like I did not belong. I think this is one of the reasons I was offered the job.”
She will graduate in the spring of 2019. She hopes to continue her studies and enroll in YVC’s bachelor of applied science program in business management. Ultimately, she would like to work as a paralegal and help provide support for migrant families in the Yakima Valley. She also hopes to help her boyfriend start his own business.