Associate in Arts
Franki Cioci was born in Minot, North Dakota. Her father served in the United States Air Force so the family moved around a lot when she was growing up. As a teenager she spent some time living in Yakima and attending A.C. Davis High School before relocating with her family. After graduating from high school, Cioci traveled the world. She lived in Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin and had extended working vacations in Spain, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.
In 2010 she moved back to the Seattle area with her infant son. A single mom, she spent the next few years working in property management and helping people who were chronically homeless. In 2014 she decided to return to the Yakima Valley to be near family. After struggling to find quality childcare in their new home, Franki decided to return to school to make a career change.
She enrolled at Yakima Valley College in the fall of 2014 pursuing a degree in early childhood education. “I’ve had to overcome several barriers to be successful at YVC,” stated Cioci. “Single motherhood and restructuring of expenditures and budgets have been challenging. But the biggest challenge has been childcare. Being able to manage time to be a present and functioning parent and a dedicated student has been hard,” she continued. With her experience she is able to bring a unique perspective to her courses and campus. “As an older student I have a completely different perspective on my approach than most of my peers. My experiences have allowed me to take more in and I can more easily understand the concepts presented,” she concluded.
She has been very involved on campus as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, a founding member of the Writing Club, and as a member of Playmasters. As part of her involvement in Playmasters she has been able to perform in several productions at YVC including The Vagina Monologues, Prelude to a Kiss, Chicago, One-Acts, and Independence. A talented performer, she is also member of the community theatre group Stage Artists of Yakima. Through this group she has participated in the local productions of Hair and The Graduate.
Outside the classroom she works part-time in YVC’s Print Shop. A strong advocate for women’s health rights she volunteers regularly for Planned Parenthood of Central Washington. In addition she volunteers at her son’s school.
She will graduate this summer. In the fall she plans to transfer to Humboldt State University in California where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in theatre with a minor in early childhood education. She then hopes to attend Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Her ultimate goal is to open an early learning center that focuses on artistic expression.