Associate in Science
Brendon DeRuyter was born in the Yakima Valley, living in Outlook before his family moved to Zillah when he was 11 years old. Brendon attended Sunnyside Christian and was later homeschooled, taking a few college-level courses at Zillah High School during his sophomore year. Wanting to get a jump-start on his education, DeRuyter enrolled in YVC’s Running Start Program in the fall of 2017. Running Start provides students like Brendon the opportunity to complete college-level credits without the cost of tuition. Juniors and seniors can continue to attend high school while also taking courses at YVC.
“I’ve known about the Running Start program since I was very young,” stated DeRuyter. “I remember my mom talking about the program when I was very young. My older brother attended YVC’s Running Start program and I knew that I wanted to do the same. Overall the experience has been great, allowing me to meet new people from a bunch of different backgrounds and experience the college environment,” he continued.
This past summer DeRuyter was selected to participate in YVC’s undergraduate 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. He worked with YVC faculty and a group of students to collect and analyze bacteria in Soda Springs Hot Spring located in the Naches Valley. “I really value this experience. It allowed me to become familiar with documenting research in scientific journals and I was able to see how the scientific process is applied in real-life and not just in the classroom,” stated DeRuyter. “This year my classes have been more challenging, especially my biology for majors course. Having the experience of the undergraduate research project has made my coursework easier because I already have experience with journaling and presenting scientific research,” he continued.
Outside of the classroom, Brendon has been an active member of the STEM Club. He also participated in both basketball and golf at Zillah High School for the past three years. Wanting to give back to the community, he volunteers at Prosser Community Church and is a past search and rescue volunteer for Civil Air Patrol. In addition, he works on his family’s dairy farm, George DeRuyter and Sons Dairy. He also job shadows and volunteers for a large animal vet.
He graduates this June with and associate in science degree. In the fall, he plans to transfer to Washington State University’s veterinary college. Following WSU he hopes to return to the lower Yakima Valley and work as a veterinarian.