Associate of Applied Science in Civil Engineering
Associate in Science
Hector Torres was born in Morelia, Mexico. He moved to the Yakima Valley with his parents when he was four years old. He graduated from East Valley High School in 2003 and began attending WyoTech in Laramie, Wyoming that fall. He completed their automotive technology program and returned to the Yakima Valley. After briefly working in the automotive industry, he decided to pursue a different path. He moved to Oklahoma to attend a bible college, and met his future wife. The couple decided to return to the Yakima Valley and later married.
Over the next several years, Torres worked in several different fields and for several different companies, never finding his passion. After working at Jeldwen for over two years, following the birth of his second child, Torres was devastated to learn that he was being terminated. Hector reached out to YVC and learned about the Worker Retraining Program. Worker Retraining is a state-funded program designed to help eligible individuals, like Hector, update their job skills and return to employment. The program offers training in a wide-range of professional-technical programs that are in demand. He began taking courses in the Engineering program during winter quarter 2017. Torres also received additional funding through the NEST program and the YVC Foundation.
Torres 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 Engineering Instructor Kevin Carlascio to research the flooding in the Cottonwood Area of West Valley.
“It has not always been easy,” stated Torres. “We’ve been barely scrapping by financially. I’ve had my doubts, however I’ve stayed motivated because I want to provide a better future for my wife and my children,” he continued.
Torres will graduate in June 2020 with an associate of applied science in civil engineering and an associate in science transfer degree. Following YVC he hopes to transfer to Washington State University and pursue a bachelor’s degree.