Associate in Arts
Andrea ‘Deya’ Picardal was born in Barhan, Philippines. Looking for better employment and educational opportunities, Picardal moved with her father and siblings to the Yakima Valley when she was 12 years. Knowing little English, she struggled in school for her first two years. “When I came to the U.S. I knew very little English,” stated Picardal. “Everyone in my new school thought I was very shy, but really I was struggling to understand what others were saying. After struggling for two years, I made myself a promise that over the summer break I would focus on learning English,” she continued. In addition to mastering English, Andrea was excited when after three long years her mother was able to join the family in the US.
She graduated from Eisenhower High School and began taking courses at Yakima Valley College in the fall of 2017. Finding success, she has been on both the president’s and dean’s lists for many quarters. During her sophomore year she joined the Associated Students of Yakima Valley College (ASYVC) serving as the vice president. “Being involved in ASYVC has been great,” she continued. “Student government pushes my limits and brings me outside of my comfort zone. I never thought I would be able to speak in front of groups, but I’ve gotten through it and with practice it has gotten easier for me. It has also helped increase my knowledge of different groups including LGBTQ and Latino and be able to be more sensitive to their concerns. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of people and this work has helped me see things from their perspectives, which has been a really good thing,” she continued.
In addition to her work with ASYVC, Picardal also serves as a mentor for the Ready to Rise program. Ready to Rise is a leadership development program to support the next generation of diverse leaders on their journey to a college degree and leadership positions in their hometown. In her role, Andrea helps incoming freshmen by answering questions they have about college. In addition, she helps pair them up with other students to help develop bonds and support. She also regularly volunteers at the Stone Church whenever she’s available.
Picardal graduates this June with an associate in arts transfer degree. Following YVC she plans to transfer to Central Washington University and major in American Sign Language and Spanish. Ultimately, she hopes to travel the world.