Associate in Arts
Brixaida Mendoza will graduate this June with her high school diploma and her associate in science degree. Running Start provides students like Brixaida 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.
Mendoza was born in Missoula, Montana. She moved to Washington State with her family when she was an infant. She attended Naches Valley High School (NVHS) and during her junior year decided to enroll in YVC’s Running Start Program.
“I decided to join YVC’s Running Start Program because NVHS does not offer many higher-level courses or programs,” stated Mendoza. “I wanted to feel challenged academically. I knew if I was successful, I would have the opportunity to graduate high school with my associate’s degree. I recommend the running start program to all students. This is just an opportunity that I don’t think anyone should pass up, especially if college is something they would like to pursue after high school,” she continued.
Overcoming the barriers of transitioning to college-level courses, Mendoza quickly found success. “My first quarter at YVC was probably my hardest quarter. I had to adjust to the pace at which college-level courses are taught. If one thing’s for sure, high school and college are not the same,” she continued.
She received the Presidential Award from NVHS and the Junior Achievement Award from the Masonic Education Council. She is also a member of National Honors Society at NVHS and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at YVC. Having excelled in her coursework, she has also been placed on the Dean’s List every quarter she’s attended YVC.
Gifted athletically, she has been playing soccer and basketball since the age of five. Soccer has had a big impact on her life. She currently plays for the Central Washington Soccer Academy and women’s semi-professional soccer team Yakima United F.C. She has also played varsity soccer through NVHS for the past four years.
This June she will graduate with her associate in arts degree and her high school diploma. She plans to transfer to a university. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue medical school and become a cardiologist.